Not only have publications but also films drawn attention to the lived realities of Palestinians over the years, highlighting the human cost of a “conflict” that has persisted through decades in Palestine. Based on reporting from Al Jazeera, these five documentaries highlight the human tales that are too frequently overlooked between political debates and military activities, from children who have lost their families to a poet and a nonviolent protest. They are a reminder that the human cost of Israel’s “war crimes” must be considered alongside the issue’s geopolitical tension and headlines. Gaza: Making It Through ShujayeaGaza:
Surviving Shujayea presents the terrible story of Bisan Daher, then eight years old, and her family as they lived through the destruction of the Shujayea neighborhood during Israel’s attack on Gaza in 2014. Bisan’s amazing escape and the unshakable friendship she forged with her rescuers are at the center of this compelling narrative, despite the fact that she lost six family members to Israeli bombardment.
The war in Gaza has left its scars on Farah.The Israeli attack on Farah’s home, which resulted in severe burns and the deaths of several members of her family, has irrevocably changed her life. The video follows her as she travels to the United States in search of medical care and as she finds refuge with a generous Arab American family.
A Palestinian Childhood in the Occupied West Bank: Skies Over HebronThe lives of Amer, Anas, and Marwaan, three Palestinian boys, are followed throughout this documentary as they deal with the challenges of growing up in the divided core of the occupied West Bank city of Hebron. The film depicts the dreams and hardships of these courageous young people despite regular threats of arrest and the presence of Israeli settlers anxious to move into their houses.
Negating My ImpairmentSeven Palestinians with various impairments are profiled in Defying My Disability. Their experiences are indicative of the resilience of people who, whether from birth or Israeli attacks, have a physical or mental impairment. The film demonstrates their will to succeed despite living in inhospitable settings that aren’t designed to meet their unique requirements.
The Man Behind Gaza’s Great March of Return Between Gunfire and the SeaWith its focus on Palestinian poet and nonviolence activist Ahmed Abu Artema, this film provides a fresh viewpoint on the debate. The Great March of Return, a movement of peaceful protests, began after he posted on Facebook about the possibility of such marches across the Gaza-Israel boundary. Ahmed is depicted in the film struggling with the human cost of these protests and trying to square it with his faith in the efficacy of nonviolence.