Palestine on the Screen: Trauma and Ignored Voices

The Israeli-Palestinian conflicts can trace back to the Nakba in 1948 and are expected to continue at least in the near future, rendering the region invariably a turbulent land and a focus in the international society. For a long time in the past, the western media largely engaged in broadcasting news about these conflicts, while Palestine itself, as the colonised part, appeared much too silent in both international politics and mass media to be noticed. However, such a silent situation has been considerably changed in recent years, with the emergence of certain distinctive Palestinian films across various film festivals. Thanks to the accessibility of inexpensive camera equipment and international co-production, the indigenous filmmakers are able to document the region's collective memory as well as the ongoing repressions. These films, thus, can be regarded as the region's creative responses to the conflicts and as non-violent protests to the inhumane, atrocious Zionism. They, on the one hand, accuse Israel of ferocity, and, on the other, attempt to present the real Palestinian people and alter the stereotype around the region of being uncivilised. Moreover, these works share common stylistic features, such as documentary-like quality, hand-held camerawork and discursive editing. Drawing on two recent, typical Palestinian films, Five Broken Cameras (2011) and Ambulance (2016), this paper examines the cinematic representations of the region and the people in response to the destructive ethno-nationalism, and the multiple roles of film as a media: witnessing the reality, re-enacting the traumatic moments, and voices calling for human rights.



Author Information
Yanping Ni, University of Warwick, United Kingdom

Paper Information
Conference: MediAsia2018
Stream: Film Criticism and Theory

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