From the late sixties up until the early eighties Palestinians formed a resistance movement to liberate their homeland and ensure the return of their refugees. A vital part of this shared goal was the establishment of institutions from Amman to Beirut; one of these was the Palestinian cinema institution.
It is the work produced by its members which Professor Nadia Yaqub charts in Palestinian Cinema in the Days of the Revolution, which has been shortlisted for this year’s MEMO Palestine Book Awards.
From Black September to the Lebanese civil war and the Israeli bombing of a refugee camp, filmmakers recorded the revolution as it unfolded. Their work sustained and transmitted memories, writes Yaqub, long after they were screened in refugee camps, villages and military bases.
But not only this. As alternative Arab cinema, the films also targeted the mass media, which didn’t necessarily have much knowledge of the Palestinian cause. They were made by Palestinians or people serving their cause.
“We can see the whole struggle – it’s not a struggle of liberation, it’s not a civil rights struggle, it’s a struggle of visibility. How to be again, how can you see yourself again, whether in the media or in front of yourself.”
This book has been shortlisted for the Palestine Book Awards 2019, please click here to read the full review on the Palestine Book Awards site