Cinema Palestina 21

Cinema Palestina (o)
Occupation 101: voices of the silenced majority

Sufyan & Abdullah Omeish 2007 docu 90 min.

Trip-ol-ii Productions/Triple Eye Films, 2007, 90 min. with special features, DVD(2). More than five years in the making, a powerful and thought-provoking overview of the history and current realities of Israel/Palestine, detailing life under occupation and the obstacles to peace through interviews, original documentation and archival footage.

Occupation 101: Voice of the Silenced Majority is an award-winning 2006 documentary film on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict directed by Sufyan Omeish and Abdallah Omeish, and narrated by If Americans Knew founder Alison Weir. The film focuses on the effects of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and discusses events from the rise of Zionism to the Second Intifada and Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan, presenting its perspective through dozens of interviews, questioning the nature of Israeli-American relations — in particular, the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, and the ethics of US monetary involvement. [1] Occupation 101 includes interviews with mostly American and Israeli scholars, religious leaders, humanitarian workers, and NGO representatives — more than half of whom are Jewish — who are critical of the injustices and human rights abuses stemming from Israeli policy in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza.


Emas Muthaffar 2007 fiction 10 min.

Enas Muthaffar’s collaboration with French dancer choreographer Jean Gaudin takes as its starting point a slight realigning of the (in)famous Balfour Declaration of 1917: “His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the PALESTINIAN people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing JEWISH communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by the Jews in any other country”.

Occupied Palestine

David Koff 1981 docu 88 min.

Long before the first intifada drew international media to focus on Palestinian life under Israeli rule, David Koff produced this detailed portrait of the daily conflict being waged in Palestine/Israel. With a combination of candid interviews and remarkable historic footage, Occupied Palestine unpicks the strategic and ideological motors of colonisation in Palestine, showing in turn how Palestinian popular resistance is both widespread and on the rise. Met with bomb threats and censorship on its initial release in the U.S., Occupied Palestine is a singular work of engaged filmmaking and a unique record of this overlooked chapter in the course of the conflict.

Of flesh and blood

Azza Shaaban 2009 docu 27 min.

With Of Flesh and Blood, first time documentary director Azza Shaaban provides a thoughtful Egyptian perspective on the siege in Gaza, taking us on a short but intense journey through the Gaza Strip. Filmed over 5 days, during a brief and unofficial opening of the border between Egypt and Gaza, Shaaban’s exploration was conducted without a crew or shooting schedule. Operating alone with only a small digital camera, the director enters Gaza to encounter those living under siege and returns bearing this testimony to their determination to bring dignity to their day to day lives.

Off Frame AKA Revolution Until Victory

by  Mohanad Yaqubi 2016 | Documentary | 62 min

Off Frame AKA Revolution Until Victory is a meditation on the Palestinian people’s struggle to produce an image and self-representation on their own terms in the 1960s and 1970s, with the establishment of the Palestine Film Unit as part of the PLO. At that time, the Palestinian revolution collaborated with filmmakers, actors, and activists from Syria, Italy, UK, Lebanon, France, Germany, Argentina, and many others, and made partnerships with institutions in Berlin, Moscow, Baghdad, and Cuba. Despite their prolific output, few of their works remain (many of them having been seized by Israel).
Yet there is much to learn from revisiting this era and piecing together the narrative of Palestinian militant cinema. Off Frame aims to fill this gap in the collective memory. Unearthing films stored in archives across the world after an unprecedented search, the film begins with popular representations of modern Palestine and traces the works of militant filmmakers in reclaiming image and narrative through revolutionary and militant cinema. In resurrecting a forgotten memory of struggle, Off Frame reanimates what is within the frame, but also weaves a critical reflection by looking for what is outside it, or what is off frame.
Director Mohanad Yaqubi draws on recently-discovered and archival found footage to explore the tumultuous history of Palestine and Palestinian filmmaking in this timely and insightful documentary.


Daniel SivanDorit Tadir 2006 fiction 12 min.

Ishaq, a 13 year old Palestinian boy wants to play soccer with his friends. What seems natural to any boy this age is no easy task for Ishaq. Ishaq lives in a closed military zone which was created after the wall was built around his house and created an enclave in which his home is disconnected from both Palestine and Israel. Ishaq must get to a soccer game! His friends are waiting for him! But it is not that simple…. Is he going to make it on time? Offside reflects the banal but nonetheless oppressive nature of aspects of the Israeli occupation through a personal human tale.

l'Olivier (The olive farmer)

Groupe Cinéma Vincennes 1976 fiction 83 min.

The Groupe Cinéma Vincennes was a Parisian Maoist collective formed after 1968 and comprised of Ali Akika, Guy Chapoullie, Serge Le Péron, Jean Narboni, Dominique Villain, and Danièle Dubroux. Their L’Olivier, emerged in response to a feeling French public support for the Palestinian struggle was diminishing following the 1972 Munich atrocity. As a form of “activist” cinema, the 16mm doc they went on to make is a quite peerless work. Cannily structured to convey the Palestinian story and to highlight the (then) present state of the struggle, the film is at the same time a rousing call for global revolutionary solidarities and, particularly, for European political engagements. Revisited today, L’Olivier is striking for the formal cinematic qualities it fuses with its political messaging. It is also notable for the many grim continuities it reveals between 1975 and today: home demolitions, imprisonment without trial, settlement construction, resource theft, and diplomatic acquiescence… L’Olivier was recently “rediscovered” by Subversive Film, a research and production body specialising in militant cinemas from the 1960s to the 1980s. The first UK presentation, at the 2012 London Palestine Film Festival involves newly prepared English subtitles being displayed below the existing French.


Hany Abu Assad,  2013  fiction  Netherlands 110 min.

Omar (Adam Bakri) is a Palestinian baker who frequently climbs the West Bank barrier to visit his lover Nadeen (Leem Lubany), a high-school girl whom he intends to marry. After being beaten and humiliated by a group of Israeli soldiers, Omar and his childhood friends Tarek (Eyad Hourani) and Amjad (Samer Bisharat) stage an attack on an Israeli checkpoint. During the attack, Amjad shoots and kills an Israeli soldier. Later, Omar and his friends are subsequently pursued by the Israeli authorities. During the pursuit, Omar is captured and imprisoned by the Israeli authorities. Facing a lengthy prison term, Omar is forcibly coerced by an Israeli agent named Rami (Waleed Zuaiter) into working as a double agent for the Israeli authorities. Agent Rami secures Omar’s release in exchange for the latter bringing Tarek to the authorities.

Due to his early release, Omar is stigmatized by many in his community as a suspected collaborator. Omar’s predicament is further complicated by the fact that his lover Nadeen is Tarek’s sister. Due to Omar’s delays in keeping his side of the bargain, he is arrested again by the Israeli authorities. During his imprisonment, he makes a second deal with Agent Rami in order to find out who is betraying the Palestinian militants. Omar later learns that his friend Amjad is the mole. When confronted, Amjad confesses that Nadeen is pregnant with his child and that the Israelis had used that to blackmail him into working for them. Omar forces Amjad to confess to Tarek. During an ensuing struggle between the three men, Tarek is killed when his gun accidentally goes off. With the help of Agent Rami, Omar and Amjad managed to hide their involvement in Tarek’s death.

Two years later, Omar visits Nadeen and finds he was totally betrayed by Amjad who was not having an affair with Nadeen and is now married to her with two children. She still loves him and finds Amjad did not deliver letters she wrote to him before marriage.Then he is revisited by Agent Rami who attempts to coerce him into killing another ringleader. By this stage, Nadeen has abandoned her studies and become a homestay mother to two young children. Omar then contacts Agent Rami, trading his assistance of capturing the new ringleader of the Jerusalem Brigade for a gun, under the Pretext of killing Amjad. The movie then cuts to a scene where Omar is brokering a deal with the new ringleader, detailing how he wants to be the one who beats Amjad, foreshadowing events that would occur offscreen. During a meeting with Agent Rami, Omar tricks the former into giving him a gun. Omar instead uses the gun to kill Agent Rami as an easy way out, but the outcome of Amjad is left unclear.

De Omslag
(The Switch)

Jacqueline de Bruijn 2013  documentary Netherlands language: Dutch, 88 min.

Four old jewish people who have survived Auschwitz and Japanese camps in Indonesia, talk about their motivation, based on their own experiences, to support the Palestinians.

Some of Hayo Meijer’s quotes are impressive, e.g.: “Just as there was no Jewish question, you cannot speak of a Palestinian question.”

On The Left

Director: Ron Cahlili Docu 2013 59 minutes

The story of the Israeli left—Zionist and non-Zionist, Marxist and non-Marxist—from the founding of the state of Israel in 1948 to today. This series investigates, among other things, how Israel evolved from a nation that was built by a leftist majority into a proud right wing majority nation, and how the previously complimentary term “Leftist” has turned into a curse word. The first installment follows the founders and the early days of the State and the messages that still echo today.
Themes: Documentary

One Day After Peace

Director: Erez Laufer & Miri Laufer Israel 2012 85 minutes
Robi Damelin, a bereaved Israeli mother, tries to contact her son’s killer, a Palestinian serving in an Israeli prison. When he refuses, Robi decides to return to South Africa to see how the country where she was born embarked on achieving forgiveness and reconciliation after decades of confl ict.


Co-presented by: Partners for Progressive Israel, The Parents Circle and the Center for International Conflict Resolution

One Family in Gaza
Jen Marlowe Duration: 23 min Genre: documentary

Just months after the Israeli assault that killed 1,390 Palestinians, I visited Gaza. Among dozens of painful stories I heard, one family stood out. I spent several days with Kamal and Wafaa Awajah, playing with their children, sleeping in the tent they were living in, and filming their story.

Wafaa described the execution of their son, Ibrahim. As she spoke, her children played on the rubble of their destroyed home. Kamal talked about struggling to help his kids heal from trauma.
What compelled me to tell the Awajah family’s story? I was moved not only by their tragedy but by the love for their children in Wafaa and Kamal’s every word.
Palestinians in Gaza are depicted either as violent terrorists or as helpless victims. The Awajah family challenges both portrayals. Through one family’s story, the larger tragedy of Gaza is exposed, and the courage and resilience of its people shines through.
For more information or to purchase a DVD or organize a screening, please contact
To follow filmmaker Jen Marlowe on Twitter: @donkeysaddleorg

Open Heart

Claire Fowler 2006 docu 23 min.

Four years ago Iham and Jihad lost their third child on the operating table. Now their nine month old son Jamal’s life is threatened by congenital heart disease, for which no affordable treatment is available. With the aid of the charity The Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF), a British surgeon’s arrival in Palestine offers hope. But first the Samara family must travel from their home in the West Bank and through Israeli checkpoints to Makassed hospital in Jerusalem, before the real journey can even begin… Open Heart is an emotional journey that highlights the plight of the struggling Palestinian health care system under occupation, from the perspective of Doctor, Patient and Humanitarian organisation.

One hundred and thirty eight pounds in my pocket

(officiële titel: 138 pounds in my pocket)

Sahera Dirbas 2009 docu 20 min.

In 1948, following the UN partition plan for Palestine, fighting broke out between Arabs and Jews. In April that same year, the young teacher Hind Al Husseini came across a large group of young children in Jerusalem. They were survivors of the massacre in Deir Yassin. Husseini took them in and established an orphanage in her Jerusalem home. Today, Dar alTifl alArabi is the largest Palestinian orphanage, providing education for more than 1,500 pupils. This new documentary by Sahera Dirbas (Stranger in My Home) asks how Husseini and her successors have each filled gaps left by the absence of a state able, or willing, to provide adequate welfare for disadvantaged children. Part biographical, it offers unique insight into the commitment and personal struggle of a remarkable Palestinian woman.

One Minute

Dina Naser, docu 10,5 min. 2015 Gaza.

One Minute reimagines the last minutes of the life of a 37-year-old mother named Salma, who was one of the thousands killed during Israel’s war on Gaza in the summer of 2014, especially the intensive attack on the Shuja’iya neighborhood

Open Bethlehem

Leila Sansour | Palestina | 2014 | DCP | Arabisch, Engels | Engels ondertiteld | 90′

Film director Leila Sansour returns to Bethlehem to make a film about her home town, soon to be encircled by a wall. She left the city as a teenager thinking that Bethlehem was too small and provincial. She never wanted to return but this time she is making an exception. She intends her film to be a tribute to her late father, founder of Bethlehem University, and a man regarded as a hero by his town’s folk. As Bethlehem approaches ruin her decision to flee this sleepy town, taken much to her father’s regret, comes to haunt her.
Armed with her camera and a dilapidated family car that keeps breaking down, Leila plans to make an epic film about a legendary town in crisis but just few months into filming her life and the film take an unexpected turn when cousin Carol, Leila’s last relative in town, persuades her to stay to start a campaign to save the city.

As the pair launch Open Bethlehem Leila finds herself trapped behind a wall in the very place she so much wanted to leave. The face of Bethlehem is changing rapidly with potentially detrimental con sequences. Reports predict that if trends continue the Christian community of Bethlehem, a city that provides a model for a multi faith Middle East, may be unsustainable within one generation. Leila’s plan to stay a year stretches to seven, and is only resolved when she realizes that, sometimes, the biggest dreams take flight from the smallest places.
‘Open Bethlehem’ is a story of a homecoming to the world’s most famous little town. The film spans seven momentous years in the life of Bethlehem, revealing a city of astonishing beauty and political strife under occupation. The film draws from 700 hours of original footage and some rare archive material. In fact the making of this film has led to the creation of the largest visual archive of Bethlehem in the world and plans are currently being discussed with University College London (UCL) to turn the collection into a museum.
While telling a personal story, the film charts the creation of a campaign to compel international action to bring peace to the Middle East. As the credits roll, there is snow over Bethlehem. Leila has stayed long enough to realize that she is home for good and her battered little family car takes to the sky. Sometimes, if you want to fight for a better world, you may have to work miracles!
During the distribution of the film Open Bethlehem will rely on its old and new ambassadors as well as a good network of supporting organizations that have backed the film and the Open Bethlehem campaign for outreach and strategy. These include The Tipping Point Film Fund, The Carter Centre, Development and Peace Canada, WorldView, Amnesty International, Caritas, Trocaire, The McCabe Educational Trust, Dubai Film Festival, Holy Land Trust, Palestine Solidarity campaign in the UK and Greenbelt.
We are currently seeking partnerships as well as financial and logistical support towards 1st tier (cinemas) and 2nd tier (universities and church halls) distribution of the film.
The Open Bethlehem film and campaign will be launched in the UK during Christmas 2014 and in the USA during Christmas 2015.

Open Targeting

by Haya Masry/Bara Haj, Gaza-docu 8 min. Jordan/Palestine 2016? V
Synopsis: the suffering of the Palestinian journalists in the field because of the Israeli occupation.The film documents this issue through to see statistics of targeting Palestinian journalists since 2000 until 2014 AD.

Organised Chaos

Katia Saleh 2007 docu 23 min.

Beirut born filmmaker Katia Saleh was caught in Beirut during the month long conflict between Israel and Hezbollah in July 2006 and documented the day to day effects of the war on the people around her. Saleh returned to Lebanon in 2007 to find not only physical destruction but also a population struggling with daily instability and a country in a state of political turmoil. While people were united in the resistance against Israel, following the war, opinions became divided in every district and every house. With threats of an internal war erupted following the rise of Fateh el Islam, an armed Islamist group which had mysteriously based itself in a Palestinian camps in northern Lebanon, violence began spreading to Beirut with a string of car bombs and assassinations and Palestinian refugees yet again found themselves driven from their residences. Saleh’s short documentary covers these momentous events and the rising tensions around them whilst looking back at the effects of the previous year’s war.


Jake Witzenfeld, documentary 86 min. UK / Israël, 2015

Oriented follows the lives of three gay Palestinian friends as they confront their national and sexual identities in modern Tel Aviv, Israel. There’s Khader, a nightlife “darling” who lives with his Jewish boyfriend David and their dalmation Otis; Fadi, an ardent Palestinian nationalist who finds himself falling in love with an Israeli soldier; Naeem, who must gather the courage to come out to his conservative family from a small northern village. Determined to change their reality, the three friends form a non-violent, cultural resistance group called “Qambuta” (Cauliflower) to advocate for sexual and national equality. Meanwhile, a war is brewing…

Website and trailer:

Our kuffiyyah in London

Dalia al Kury 2007 docu 5 min.

By secretly snapping photos of Londoners wearing the popular Palestinian scarf, the “Kuffiyyah”, the filmmaker ponders how her Palestinian grandparents would react if they could witness their scarf’s almost ironic commercial appeal. The film opens up questions about the commodification and appropriation of political, cultural and historical materials and leaves the viewer to reflect on the interplay between commerce, fashion, ideology and identity.


by Basma Alsharif, fiction 77 min, France / Palestine / Belgium / Qatar 2017
Language Chinook, English, Italian with English subtitles

Ouroboros is acclaimed visual artist Basma Alsharif’s first feature film. This experimental film is an homage to the Gaza Strip and to the possibility of hope based on the eternal return. The film follows a man through five different landscapes, upending mass-mediated representation of trauma. A journey outside of time, marking the end as the beginning, exploring the subject of the eternal return and how we move forward when all is lost.
Producers Eyal Sivan, Emilie Dudognon, Mohanad Yaqubi, Serge Kestemont.
Production Company Momento ! Films E-mail:

Out in the dark

Michael Mayer Israel 2012 fiction 96 min.

A drama centered on the love affair between two men on opposite sites of the Mid-East conflict: Palestinian student Nimer and Roy, an Israeli lawyer.

Drama, Gay. 96 min. Israël. Vertoond op Movies that MatterFilm Festival. Kleur, 16:9 anamorphic. Hebreeuws – Arabisch Dolby Digital 5.1. Ondertiteling: Nederlands. Tijdens een van zijn illegale nachtelijke escapades over de grens in Tel Aviv ontmoet Nimr, een Palestijnse psychologiestudent uit Ramallah, de Israëlische advocaat Roy. Ze voelen zich onmiddellijk tot elkaar aangetrokken. Hoewel hij in eerste instantie twijfelt, belt Nimr hem een paar dagen later. Ze gaan daten en worden enorm verliefd. Terwijl zijn relatie met Roy zich ontwikkelt, wordt Nimr geconfronteerd met de harde realiteit van een Palestijnse maatschappij en een familie die zijn seksualiteit niet accepteert. Maar ook Israël vormt een bedreiging: daar wordt hij vervolgd voor zijn afkomst. Nimr vindt troost en liefde bij Roy en droomt tegelijkertijd van de dag dat hij zijn studie kan vervolgen in Amerika. Nimrs leven neemt een dramatische wending wanneer een bevriende, naar Tel Aviv gevluchte homo door de geheime politie wordt ontdekt en teruggebracht naar Ramallah. Daar wordt hij door zijn landgenoten in koelen bloede vermoord. Nimr wordt gedwongen een keuze te maken tussen het leven dat hij dacht dat hij wilde en zijn liefde voor Roy.

'Out of Place – Memories of Edward Said

Sato Makoto 2005 docu 87 min.

In September 2003, Edward Said died. In the spring of 2004, Said’s grave was placed, not in New York where he had lived most of his adult life, nor in Palestine where he was born, but in the small Lebanese town of Brumana. This film begins with the story of Said’s grave, symbolic of the complexities of his life. Guided by interviews with Arab, Israeli and American thinkers, Out of Place is a journey through the memories and legacies of Edward Said. The film examines the tangled web of displacement: The lives of Palestinians living as refugees in neighbouring countries the Jews, surviving long years of persecution in the diaspora, and settling in Israel from across the world the deep conflict of Israelis’ mingled identity as historic victims and contemporary aggressors.


by Molly Stuart; documentary 14 min. Israel/Palestine, 2017, English/Hebrew/Arabic, Engl. ST.
As a 19-year- old Israeli, Atalya is obligated to enlist in the armed forces. But she has witnessed military rule in the occupied Palestinian territories – a reality that most other young Israelis never experience – and one that leads her to become a conscientious objector.

On the Doorstep

by Sahera Dirbas, documentary 46 min, Palestine 2018, English, Arabic with English subtitles.
Trailer: pcd.flp

Three generations of the Bisharat family in the US have maintained their emotional attachment to their family home in West Jerusalem, taken over by Israelis in 1948. Among them is 21-year-old Valerie who travelled across the world to visit her grandfather’s house, and managed to meet its current inhabitant, 96-year-old Gisele.

One Day in July

by Hermes Mangialardo, fiction 2 min. 2015. Arabic with English subtitles.

A child plays with sand on a beach, but a soldier comes with his gun…

'The Oslo Diaries
by Mor Loushy/Daniel Sivan, documentary 97 min. Israel/Canada, 2018 (12 september 2018 door VPRO tv vertoond)
Trailer: (hier film ook te bekijken)
In 1992, with Israeli-Palestinian relations at a low and official communication suspended, an unlikely group of negotiators—two Israeli professors and three PLO members—met secretly in Norway. To these unsanctioned meetings, the bitter enemies brought fiercely held convictions: the Palestinians saw occupiers, the Israelis saw terrorists, and both saw a history of failed negotiations. But united in the serious desire for peace, they continued through disheartening setbacks, escalating violence, and fraught government politics, ultimately reaching an accord few thought possible.A comprehensive, dramatic account of the negotiations and their intricate context, The Oslo Diaries recounts a geopolitical story, but its narrative voice is personal and philosophical. Articulated through the participants’ diaries and incorporating unseen archival footage, it offers a broadly resonant portrait of diplomacy, the delicate nature of peace, and individuals who, sitting in fundamental opposition, nonetheless found common ground and, in some cases, came to regard their counterparts as friends. With politics ultimately dooming the accord, one negotiator wondered if Oslo was a story of triumph or defeat before observing that the story’s end remains unwritten.
[maxbutton id=”2″][maxbutton id=”3″][maxbutton id=”4″][maxbutton id=”5″][maxbutton id=”6″][maxbutton id=”7″][maxbutton id=”8″][maxbutton id=”9″][maxbutton id=”10″][maxbutton id=”11″][maxbutton id=”12″][maxbutton id=”13″][maxbutton id=”14″][maxbutton id=”15″][maxbutton id=”16″][maxbutton id=”17″][maxbutton id=”18″][maxbutton id=”19″][maxbutton id=”20″][maxbutton id=”21″][maxbutton id=”22″][maxbutton id=”24″][maxbutton id=”23″]