Palestinian suffering in front of checkpoints … a realistic Palestinian vision that competes for Oscars


Although raised in Britain, the film director, Farah Nabulsi, described herself as a Palestinian by blood and legacy

The word “gift” is associated with joy, surprise and pleasure. However, the gift presented by Palestinian Youssef to his wife in the movie “The Gift”, which was directed by Farah Nabulsi, was the taste of what the Palestinians suffer daily in their lives at the military checkpoints of the Israeli occupation army.

The events of the film begin when the Palestinian “Yusef”, whose role was played by Saleh Bakri, decided to present a gift to his wife in the form of an electric refrigerator, and left his house in one of the Palestinian areas with his daughter Yasmine, whose role was represented by the child “Maryam King”, but as a barrier to the Israeli occupation army Close to the house, the father and his child’s project was disrupted, and what the Palestinians lived in showed a daily reality, when the two went out in the early morning and returned in the late evening amid suffering in their exit and return, and they did not return the gift as they wanted.

The film won 25 international awards, was nominated for the British BAFTA Award, and is also a candidate for an Oscar, and was distributed for the French “Canal Plus” (+ Canal).

Maryam King in the role of the child Yasmine, the daughter of “Youssef”, showing her suffering with her father as they crossed the checkpoint (Al-Jazeera)

Cinema is less stressful than reality

The film director, Farah Nabulsi, described herself as a Palestinian by blood and legacy, but her birth and upbringing was in the British capital, London. On her many visits to Palestine, she lived suffering at the checkpoints, and noticed the smallest details and accounts of Palestinians who lived in places besieged by these barriers, and all of this was her inspiration.

Nabulsi tells Al-Jazeera Net that what she presented in her film is much less stressful than what the Palestinians suffer at the checkpoints, but her goal is to make the audience reflect on the story, and take time to think about a set of questions, most notably “How is it possible to live the life of Joseph and Jasmine?” And how the barriers affect the life of An entire society with all its details, and does the public accept that what happened to Joseph and his daughter happen to it?

Nabulsi wanted from her film for the world to show solidarity with the Palestinians and their cause, and for the film to change the inhuman view that sticks to the minds of the West towards them, which is what the colonialists always do by showing the people of the land and the indigenous people in a barbaric way.

What was shown in the film is much less stressful than what the Palestinians suffer at checkpoints (Al-Jazeera)

The right to move freely

Farah Nabulsi presented an honest picture of the Palestinians, through a human story, producing it with high quality, elegant narrative method and true depth, so that the audience could receive it in a way that pays solidarity with them, and pushes the judges to present the film for awards, and the feeling that you want to know more about the lives of Palestinians.

Nabulsi considers that the secret of the sweetness of her film is to show it in a humane and high quality way, and for the story to be able to speak to the hearts of the audience and move their feelings, especially since the world today is giving back racism and discrimination again, and it is also going through the Corona pandemic, from which people suffer from freedom of movement. The film tells the audience that everything that happens to you during the pandemic – from limiting movement – is not comparable to what the Palestinians have been living for decades at checkpoints, which is their simple right like any person in the world. Freedom of movement.

The secret of the sweetness of the movie “The Gift” is to show it in a humane and high quality (Al Jazeera)

Cinema changes reality

As for the protagonist of the film, Saleh Bakri, he believes that the “gift” narrates an aspect of the Palestinian tragedy through the character of “Yusef”, the ordinary Palestinian worker who is forced daily to cross the military checkpoint to provide for his home like thousands of other Palestinians.

Bakri added to Al-Jazeera Net that “cinema, because of its potential for spread and influence, actually contributes to changing reality, just as declining cinema produces downward thinking, so conscious cinema produces awareness, and this awareness is the most dangerous enemy of corrupt and oppressive regimes.”

Bakri ends his speech by saying that the censorship obsession with cinema and banning films that shed light on what the regimes want is hidden. Occupied West Bank) during the Israeli invasion of the West Bank during the Second Palestinian Intifada in 2002.

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