Recent uproar over sharp criticism of Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid’s controversial Bollywood feature kashmir file We started an important discussion. But one indisputable point is how filmmakers and writers should tell the unimaginably sensitive tale of anguish of the Kashmir Pandits in a polarized society like India. That was it.
How can the tragic story of the Kashmiri Pandits be told without caricaturing and demonizing all Kashmiri Muslims who likewise suffer so much because of endless repetitions of violence? Can it? How should filmmakers resist the temptation to portray extreme gore while being fair to victims of horrific violence?
Writing about the controversy, Rapid said: kashmir file The film “…in a very vulgar and cheap way merely promotes a series of obvious political positions using various cheap film manipulations”. In regards to how the film puts its characters together, Rapid said: They are caricatures of villains, not humans. Even the worst of humans are convinced they are right. For me, this is what turns life into conflict, and it’s so complicated and scary. ”
As outrage over Rapid’s comments grew, Israeli state officials publicly condemned Rapid’s remarks and apologized to their creators. kashmir fileMeanwhile, most progressive Indians also expressed solidarity with Rapid. Despite so much constant trolling and abuse, Rapid has refused to retract his comments. I agreed.
Well, a similar controversy erupted in Israel after Netflix’s new release. Farha – Film based on the 1948 al-Nakba affair. During the Nakba, Israeli forces reportedly displaced 800,000 Palestinians from their villages. The eviction involved the mass murder of thousands of civilians, including women and children, and was planned for what is arguably one of the longest modern conflicts and occupations.
For decades, relations between Israel and Palestine have remained strained. 2022 was the bloodiest year for Palestinians in recent years. Israeli forces and settlers reportedly killed her 139 Palestinians, including several children, in the West Bank and East Jerusalem this year. His three days of Israeli bombing in August killed 49 of his Palestinians, including 17 of his children, in the Gaza Strip. Human rights violations in Palestine are occasionally highlighted in the international press. The latest case is the murder of Al Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Akure.
While Israel justifies excessive use of force against Palestinians in self-defense, experts say Israel occupies more and more Palestinian land each year and repopulates Israelis there through disproportionate use of force. It is pointed out that they are settling down. Many Palestinians believe they should have the right to return to their homeland. In November 2022, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution commemorating the ‘Nakba’.
Jordanian filmmaker Darin Salam has adapted the story of a Palestinian refugee woman who survived Nakba and escaped Syria. rice field.
Farja covers the painful ordeal of Farha, a Palestinian teenager, who wants to go to the city to continue his education. Her father is the mayor of a village recently liberated from British occupation. Through her great efforts, Farha succeeded in persuading her father to send her to a city school, but Israeli hostilities soon erupted during the Nakba and her dream was shattered. The happiest moments in the hero’s life are interrupted by gunshots. Her father, Abu Faha, locked her in a small grocery store in her home to save her from Israeli forces.
The film fits the classic three-act structure of storytelling, and the closing act is the antithesis of a vibrant introduction. The characterization of Israelis and Palestinians is not absolute. Even in the film’s most violent scene, the Israeli army murders a Palestinian family in the courtyard of Farha, a senior officer orders a young Jewish officer to kill a Palestinian newborn child, but a young The officer defied orders and saved the child’s life.
There are many scenes without lines. In fact, you never feel the need for dialogue while watching a movie. It comes out as a universal story in which the main character can be any woman in any conflict zone.
wire Caught up with Salam to talk about the film. Excerpts from the interview below.
When and why did you decide to make a film with Nakba?
Only when I decided to share Radiyyeh’s story. The story takes place against the backdrop of Al Naqba, and I decided to stay true to the original story, even though many told me that Palestine was not a trendy or hot topic these days. – and I can take the setting and use it elsewhere.
The film sees Farja transition from a rebellious girl to a young woman and coming to terms with the realities of her profession. Why did she focus on this one young woman rather than her actions in the context of war and eviction?
It was important to treat Farha as a human being, a child, and not as the number of 800,000 Palestinians forced into exile in 1948. Farja is a coming-of-age film and I wanted to depict Al Naqba through the eyes of this girl. I chose an intimate setting to be intense, emotional and cinematic. Ultimately, it’s a coming-of-age movie about a girl forced to grow up, let go of her dreams, face all her losses, and move forward with all these losses and burdens on her little shoulders. is. The world has gotten used to seeing Palestinians as numbers, but now is the time to start seeing them as people.
While making a feature-length fiction film on an issue like this, especially in a hyper-polarized society, how can you be objective in your storytelling, because this film is personal to you? And how much fictional and creative freedom do you think is allowed when talking about tragic events like Nakba?
I was objective by showing only the truth. The scenes in the film are the different real-life moments that I patched within the dramatic plot and structure of the film that I created. However, he cannot show in one film everything that happened in Al Naqba, so as a climax he chose to make one intense scene and make an emotional and humane film. . Even if you forget something, when you feel something, you will never forget it and it will remain with you forever. ”
Farja is your first feature film. As a filmmaker, how difficult was it to shoot the majority of the film in a small grocery store and not let drab mise-en scenes dominate the story?
It was a challenge and a risk that I knew would always exist, but it was the only house black A more attractive setup for me. I was rewriting it on set and editing it in my head while I was shooting. The use of cinematic elements – sound design, lighting changes, pacing of the story, etc. were important in keeping the audience engaged. I also wrote the sounds in the script to maintain the emotional atmosphere.
The plot is based on a tragic incident of ethnic cleansing, but doesn’t use gory visuals for storytelling.
I didn’t want to make an epic movie in terms of tons of extras, fight scenes, blood, etc. Instead, she wanted the film to be epic through the inner feelings and struggles that this girl goes through. The most bleeding we see is when she gets her period.
If the film had been based on the current state of Palestine, do you think it would have made a big difference?
No, this is why I wanted to go back to 1948 and show the Palestinian struggle that continues today and the source of the suffering of that time.The wound has been open since 1948 and is still bleeding today.
There was an attack or slander against Farja On social media by Israeli nationalists, including government officials seeking to ban the film on Netflix for certain scenes. How do you see this anger?
This scene does not compare to what happened in Palestine and is still happening. This attempt to silence our voices is a continuation of Al Naqba.
How would you like your movie to be remembered?
I hope Farja Not only will it be remembered as the film that launched the Nakba genre, but it will be remembered as documenting generations of cinema.