Cinema holds an unprecedented power to inform, incite, and shift perspectives and narratives on subject matter that rule our everyday lives— from notions surrounding identity, religion and politics to topics involving the complexities found within relationships and human interactions. The Palestine Film Institute (PFI) is doing just that with its latest program “Unprovoked Narratives,” a series of films celebrating the beauty of Gaza, its people, struggle, and survival. This program, which is running until Oct. 22, aims to shift false narratives and resist the ongoing misinformation and misconceptions surrounding the occupied territories by simply celebrating and bringing its rich culture and heritage to the forefront.
Featuring 12 films that provide an in-depth look at Gazans’ daily lives, viewers are invited to discover the harrowing reality of life under strict military occupation. The films included in the program cover a wide range of themes, from thought-provoking documentaries that delve into the socio-political realities of Gaza to stories of forbidden love where an act of affection can defy traditions.
One of the highlights included in the program is a rare film titled Scenes of the Occupation from Gaza (1973) by Palestinian filmmaker Mustafa Abu Ali who was one of the founders of The Palestine Film Unit (PFU), the first filmic arm of the Palestinian revolution. The Palestine Film Unit emerged in the late 1960’s with the aim of including Palestine in the global conversation that is the anti-colonial struggle. The first wave of films released by the PFU highlighted elements of Palestinian disenfranchisement and violence whilst comparing it to other anti-imperialist movements at the time including those in Cuba, Vietnam, and Angola. Scenes of the Occupation from Gaza (1973) is one of the earliest films on the occupied territory. The film won the top prize for best film at the Damascus Film Festival in 1973 and was screened at multiple festivals. It was the only feature produced by the Palestine Cinema Group, which in 1974 became the Palestine Cinema Institute, as stated on the PFI’s website.
View this post on Instagram
The titles included in the “Unprovoked Narratives” program include:
Tale of the Three Jewels (1995) by Michel Khleifi
Ouroboros (2017) by Basma Alsharif
Ambulance (2016) by Mohamed Jabaly
Scenes of the Occupation from Gaza (1973) by Mustafa Abu Ali
To my Father (2008) by Abdel Salam Shehada
Condom lead (2013) by Tarzan Nasser & Arab Nasser
Gaza Ghetto: Portrait of a Palestinian Family (1985) by Pea Holmquist, Joan Mandell, & Pierre Bjorklund
One More Jump (2019) by Emanuele Gerosa
Gaza Calling (2012) by Nahed Awwad
Shujayya (2016) by Mohammed Almughanni
Samouni Road (2018) by Stefano Savona
Habibi (2011) by Susan Youssef
The PFI has made all the films in the program available for free streaming on their website until Oct. 21.
Additionally, if you would like to embed the films on your website or platform reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with your web address.