West Bank filmmaker Amin Nayfeh, 33, now living in Ramallah, is one of the many directors and writers whose films have been included in the collection.
“I was very happy, and very surprised to be honest. Buying 32 titles was a bold thing, especially given what happened earlier this year,” Nayfe told Granthshala.
Nayfe said, “Our stories are not well known. Although we make films that travel internationally, our reach has never been so great.” “Now that it is available to the public, anywhere, in any country, at any time, it is a great achievement for Palestinian filmmakers.”
Nayfe wrote and directed the 10-minute short film “The Crossing” included in the collection. The film is based on a true story that happened to him and his siblings at an Israeli outpost when they were trying to visit their ailing grandfather, who lived on the other side of the wall in the occupied Palestinian Territory.
“Ever since the wall was built, we were cut off on the other side of the wall in the area occupied by part of our family,” Nayfe said. “It bought me and many painful and painful memories for the families of thousands of Palestinians.”
‘Now people can know the truth’
In May, an already tense situation worsened, prompted by moves to displace Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem near the Old City. Protests against possible evictions exploded at one of the city’s holiest sites, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount.
As Palestinian protesters pelted stones at police, Israeli forces entered Islam’s third holiest site, the Al Aqsa Mosque, with stun grenades hurled at protesters and worshipers.
“It’s not a conflict. I’m living in possession, I’m not in conflict with anybody. I’m being captured, I’m being harassed, I’m being harassed, ethnically purified going, and it’s far from being in conflict,” Nayfeh said. “People like to put equal responsibility equally on both sides and this is a great injustice to us Palestinians.”
But Nayfeh says he firmly believes in the power of storytelling, and has “a lot of hope” from the launch of Netflix’s “Palestinian Stories” collection.
“Ultimately we think, I wouldn’t call it justice, but a difference in the international response to our part of the world and what is happening to us,” he continued.
Other award-winning titles included in the collection are “A Man Returned” by Mahdi Flaefel, “Like 20 Impossibles” by Annemarie Zakir, and “It Must Be Heaven” by Elia Suleiman.
“While these stories are distinctly and authentically Arab, the themes are quintessentially human, and will resonate with audiences around the world. That’s the real beauty of storytelling.”
Many of the stories shed light on the brutal realities of life in the occupied Palestinian territories under Israeli rule or what it is like living in Palestinian refugee camps, but the films are also about love, comedy, and the pride of being a Palestinian.
“I hope these films will raise awareness,” Nayfe said. “Many people say they don’t know what’s going on, right now you have so many titles telling stories in different genres, documentaries, short films and feature films. Now people can know the truth. That’s a lot. It’s a big deal.”
Credit : www.cnn.com