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10/22/2023

11 films on the Palestinian question

11 films on the Palestinian question

Mahmoud Darwish, one of the symbolic figures of Palestinian resistance, writes his poem A lover from Palestine as follows: “Palestinian she was and still is”.

The resistance of Palestine has been echoing in various forms of art for years, from literature to music, from sculpture to cinema. The truth of Palestine is again and again being voiced.

This week, I will briefly introduce 11 films related to the “Palestinian issue,” which is certain to continue until an independent and sovereign Palestinian state is established, and imperialism and Zionism are removed from the region. The list also includes movies from the Israeli cinema:

1. Cup Final (G’marGavia, 1991) / Director: Eran Riklis

The story of an Israeli sergeant who is a football fanatic and is taken hostage by the Palestinian Liberation Organization in Lebanon during the 1982 World Cup. Both sides support the same team in the cup.

2521259 Gmar Gavi\’a; (add.info.: Affiche du film Gmar Gavi\’a (CUP FINAL) d\’Eran Riklis avec Moshe Ivgy, 1992); Everett Collection.

2. West Beirut (West Beyrouth, 1998) / Director: Ziyad Doueiri

Set in 1975 during the beginning of the civil war in West Beirut. A bus carrying Palestinians is attacked, and the passengers are killed. The war escalates quickly, and West Beirut falls under the control of Christians.

3. Divine Intervention (Yadon Ilaheyya, 2002) / Director: Elia Suleiman

The film, which won the Jury Prize at Cannes, tells a poignant romantic comedy about a man and a woman living in different cities in Palestine often meeting at the border.

4. Jenin, Jenin (2003) / Director: Mohammed Bakri

A documentary that covers the events surrounding the Israeli army’s invasion of the Jenin refugee camp in April 2002 and the following destruction, devastation, and human rights violations in the West Bank in.

5. Paradise Now (2005) / Director: Hany Abu-Assad

The story of two childhood friends, Said and Khaled, who are assigned as suicide bombers for an attack in Tel Aviv.

6. Waltz with Bashir (Wals Im Bashir, 2008) / Director: Ari Folman

In this impressive animated film, director Ari Folman, who served as an Israeli soldier in Lebanon in 1982, narrates the massacres that took place in the Palestinian camps of Sabra and Shatila.

7. The Lemon Tree (Etz Limon, 2008) / Director: Eran Riklis

Selma, a middle-aged widow, lives in the West Bank. Her family has owned a lemon grove for generations, and this grove holds great sentimental value for her. However, when the Israeli Defense Minister moves in next door, security forces view Selma’s lemon trees as a potential threat and demand their removal.

8. A World Not Ours (Alam Laysa Lana, 2012) / Director: Mahdi Fleifel

This documentary offers an intimate and humor-filled look at the Palestinians living in the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp in southern Lebanon, who have been in exile for three generations. Director Mahdi Fleifel states, “If Palestinians forget, they will disappear. Throughout history and today, our struggle is to remain visible.”

9. Rock the Casbah (2012) / Director: Laila Marrakchi

Set during the First Intifada, this film tells the story of an Israeli soldier and his family in the Gaza Strip. It offers a perspective from the Israeli side on the events in Palestine.

10. Bethlehem (2013) / Director: Yuval Adler

This thriller takes place in the city of Bethlehem, which holds symbolic significance for both Israelis and Palestinians. It delves into the complex relationship between an Israeli secret service agent and a young Palestinian informant.

11. Omar (2013) / Director: Hany Abu-Assad

Omar, a young Palestinian baker in the West Bank, along with his childhood friends Tarek and Amjad, participates in anti-Israeli activities. When an Israeli soldier is killed during one of attacks, Omar is captured and forced to become an informant for the Israeli intelligence service.

Tunca Arslan

Journalist (Turkey), served as a jury member at many national and international film festivals, became the president of the Cinema Writers Association (SIYAD) between 2010-2013, where he previously served as a member of the board for three terms. He worked as the editor for the Dogan Publishing House (2009-2014) and Kirmizi Kedi Publishing House (2014-2018). Columnist in Aydinlik Newspaper and in Kaynak Publishing House

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