5 films to help you understand what’s
happening in Palestine

After the murder of Al-Jazeera Journalist Shireen Abu Akleh last month in the Jewish State of Israel, the spotlight is once again shining on the ongoing conflict between the Israeli Government and innocent Palestinians. Shireen was a Palestinian American Journalist who was shot and killed whilst reporting on the ongoings at the occupied West Bank. 

 

Although the issues surrounding the occupation of this Holy land first began over half a century ago, mainstream media has often chosen to ignore the struggle of these communities. In doing so it has become increasingly rare for Western media to paint an accurate picture of the daily and unimaginable struggle faced by the millions of Palestinians who have been affected by this conflict. 

 

To help you gain a better understanding of Israel’s apartheid against Palestinians, we’ve selected a range of movies and documentaries that poetically give you an insight into the plight of Palestinian civilians. 

 

 

3000 Nights follows the journey of Layal, a Palestinian woman, who realises she is pregnant and gives birth to her son which being held in an Israeli prison. Layal goes on to raise her son with the help of fellow Muslim inmates with whom she develops a close bond. However, every day is a constant battle with both the Israeli police guards and other inmates’ adamant on making them suffer. 

 

This heart wrenching film by well known documentarian, Mai Masri, highlights the brutality that comes because of the clear racial segregation in the country. Whilst most prison dramas tend to feature over-dramatized and unrealistic plots, 3000 Nights subtly shows us that for even the most unproblematic of Palestinian prisoners, every day is a constant battle in an Israeli prison. 

The Present is a powerful short film by Palestinian filmmaker, Farah Nabulsi. As well as winning the BAFTA Award for Best Short Film in 2021, The Present was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film. 

 

This moving tale follows the journey of a father and daughter, as they try to get through an overcrowded border crossing between the Palestinian territories, into the Israeli-occupied West Bank to retrieve an anniversary gift for his wife. In between trying to cross the checkpoint, finding the gift, and trying to return it home in time and safely, both the father and daughter face several hurdles, most of which are unjustified.

 

This moving short film allows us to gain an eye-opening insight into how even the simplest of tasks can be made difficult for Palestinian families. As we see the father trying to protect his daughter from facing the brutal realities that come with living in Palestine, it is impossible to not have

Offering you an intimate tour of one of the world’s most holy sites, this documentary takes you through Masjid Al Aqsa. As we learn about the history of this mosque, located in the Old City of Jerusalem, we can understand why this site is so important to the Muslim community worldwide. 

 

The documentary was filmed during the holy month of Ramadan and follows the experiences of multiple workers at the mosque. As we see Palestinians travel from the West Bank to worship at the Masjid, we see the difficulties they face purely to be in the presence of this beautiful location. Abrar Hussain’s documentary allows those who want to understand the power of Al-Aqsa a unique glimpse into this majestic place of worship. 

This moving documentary, narrated by director Mais Darwazah, gives us an intimate view as she begins her first journey to her homeland of Palestine. On her trip she also meets the man whom she has fallen in love with for the first time.  

 

This beautiful insight allows us to witness the side of Palestine that many people do not get to see or hear about; with it’s tightly knit community and beautiful surroundings. The people of Palestine hold on to hope and remain positive despite the constant fear of attack from the Israeli Army. This fairy-tale love story truly shows us how powerful and resilient the people of Palestine are and how they continue to have hope, even after everything they have had to endure. 

 

Whilst most portrayals of Palestine and its citizens tend to be dark and melancholic, Mais Darwazah gives us the pleasure of seeing Palestine from a different angle. 

In this heart-warming documentary film by Yahya Alabdallah, we follow the journeys of three Palestinian children who are running in the school council elections at the refugee school in Jordan that they attend. 

 

This documentary gives us a unique perspective from the displaced Palestinians who have made home in surrounding Arab nations. It’s incredibly powerful to see these Palestinian children fight for change and make the most out of their situation as they try to establish policies surrounding student-teacher relationships and race to form an effective council. 

 

Not often do we get to see the journey from this angle, and Yahya Alabdallah’s positive spin on what is one of the direst conflicts of the last century gives viewers the motivation to keep on supporting the Free Palestine movement.