Palestinian Cinema Depicts People’s Long Struggle

Published February 16th, 2002 - 02:00 GMT

Most of the Palestinian films belong to the documentary, or short narrative genre that have monitored the violent actions and changes in the Palestinian issue since the 1967 war to date, according to the daily al Hayat. 

“The Palestinian Cinema in the 20th Century”, a documented and extensive study prepared by the Palestinian critic Bashar Ibrahim, includes the Palestinian efforts in cinema production before and after 1948 and then this cinema in the nineties. The study is concluded with extensive documentation of the Palestinian productions in the 20th century, which reached 280 films. 

The first phase between 1935-1948 was the beginning, which witnessed the production of six Palestinian films, and other projects that were not implemented because the film production was halted for 20 years. Then a unit for producing Palestinian films was established and it screened its first film in 1968. The film was entitled La Lilhal al Silmi (No for Peaceful Solution) directed by Mustafa Abu Ali. Since then, Palestinian films followed under difficult internal and external circumstances. 

Many Arab directors from Iraq, Syria and Lebanon joined the Palestinian directors in directing Palestinian films such as al Makhdou’n (Deceived) directed by Tawfiq Saleh and based on a story by the late Palestinian writer Ghassan Kanafani. This is in addition to Kufor Qasem directed by Burhan Ulwiyyeh. 

The last decade of the 20th century witnessed new names added to the list of Palestinian film directors. It also witnessed an unprecedented diversity in the names of producers. In addition to the Palestinian organizations, which produce films there is a fairly large number of individual producers who collaborate with their counterparts from Belgium, France, Germany and Holland. This joint cooperation enabled the Palestinian cinema to produce important, long, documentary and narrative films highlighted in the works of Michael Khalifi and Rashid Mashharawi in particular. 

We can notice easily that the Palestinian cinema started from mid eighties to address foreign viewers and distance itself from the literal rhetoric which the Arab viewer has been plagued with for a long time --  

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