5 Palestinian Movies to Add to Your Repertoire
In light of the war on Gaza, we decided to round up Palestinian movies to improve our humane connection to a nation that has long been suffering and resisting.
The goal is not to create a melancholic feeling of nostalgia but rather to foster a sense of connection and understanding, acknowledging the humanity that is at the essence of the people. By showcasing the rich diversity and personal stories of the Palestinian people, you can help counter stereotypes and promote awareness and empathy, ultimately contributing to a more inclusive rightful narrative. A narrative of a people that should not and will not cease to exist.
Click through our list and enjoy.
“Divine Intervention" is a 2002 Palestinian film directed by Elia Suleiman. The movie is a dark comedy that portrays the daily life and struggles of Palestinians living in the West Bank. It uses humour and absurdity to highlight the challenges and complexities of life under occupation. The film gained critical acclaim for its unique and symbolic storytelling, including the Jury Prize at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival, and has become a significant work in Palestinian cinema, contributing to global recognition of the Palestinian film industry.
The feature film "Farha" is set against the backdrop of the Nakba, symbolizing the mass Palestinian exodus during the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. The film follows a young Palestinian teenager, Farha, who dreams of pursuing her studies but becomes entangled in discussions about marriage. She resides in a peaceful village, participating in fig picking and enjoying time with friends until a sudden attack by Jewish fighters prompts her father to hide her in their home's cellar, where she witnesses the massacre of civilians. The film draws inspiration from the true story of Radieh, a woman whose story was introduced to director Darin J. Sallam by her mother, and she chose to share it through this movie.
Gaza Mon Amour
"Gaza Mon Amour" is a 2020 Palestinian-French film directed by Tarzan and Arab Nasser, and it centers on a fisherman named Issa, portrayed by Salim Daw. Issa's life takes an unexpected turn when he discovers an ancient statue of Apollo while fishing off the Gaza coast. The film weaves a romantic dramedy as Issa navigates the challenges of love, longing, and life in the Gaza Strip. His love interest, Siham, played by Hiam Abbass, becomes central to the story. The film provides a humanistic perspective on the lives of everyday people facing extraordinary circumstances and has earned acclaim for its poignant storytelling and its portrayal of the complexities of life in Gaza where love, humor, and hope persist amidst adversity.
"The Present" is a 2020 Palestinian 24-minute short film by director Farah Nabulsi, nominated for an Academy Award. The story follows a Palestinian man, Yousef, and his daughter, Yasmine, as they navigate Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank on a journey to buy a gift for Yousef's wife. The film powerfully portrays the daily challenges, humiliations, and restrictions faced by Palestinians under occupation. It sheds light on the human experiences behind the headlines, offering a moving and thought-provoking perspective on life in the West Bank.
Samouni Road," a 2018 documentary directed by Stefano Savona, unfolds in the Gaza Strip and focuses on the Samouni family's efforts to rebuild their lives after the traumatic events of the 2009 Gaza War. The film combines animation and live-action footage to deliver a personal and artistic portrayal of the family's challenges and their enduring determination in the face of hardship. It offers an intimate glimpse into the long-lasting impact of war and occupation on ordinary lives, depicting the Samouni family's journey toward finding a sense of stability amid the destruction in Gaza.