Jan 25, 2018 in Informative

Trauma Cinema of Displacement

The Palestinian cinema history could be outlined out in four periods as cited above. In the third period, which was after the Nakba, we see documentary films being used to bring about a unified Palestinian identity. These films played major roles in strengthening the tale of displacement that transcended from the trauma caused by the Nakbain 1948. Films produced in this time featured opposition against the Israeli state. The aim of this was to educate Palestinians and endanger a sense of unity, pride and nationalism among this varied population.

These films, employed particular freedom struggles and localized events whose depiction implied setting a collective Palestinian fate. Though these films do not necessarily reconstruct a specific history of that loss, they postulate the trauma of displacement. It is by doing this that these films create a historical memory that is a common historical memory, obtained from a collective trauma. This made it easier for Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) to keep up a liberation movement.

Description of the Holocaust & Naqba, 1948

Naqba also known as Palestinian exodus happened in 1948. When the state of Israel was created a large number of Palestinian Arabs were expelled from their homes. Nakba means “catastrophe” in Arabic. To the Palestinians, Nakba refers to the takeover of their homeland and the destruction of their society. This was caused by the Arab-Israeli conflict in1948 and the Civil War that came before it. These conflicts emanated from disagreement between Israelis and Arabs. This event is commemorated by Palestinians on May 15. This day is usually known as Nakba Day.

There are several reasons as to why the Arab spread. These include the collapse in Palestinian leadership, an unwillingness to live under Jewish control, Jewish military advances and voluntary self-removal of the wealthier classes. Another significant reason that caused many Arabs to leave out of panic is the fears of massacre after Deir Yassin. These reasons could be summarized into two; the flight of the Palestinians was as a result of the Zionist ideology and later on Israeli policy. The Zionist had an agenda of grabbing as much land as possible. They created on it a Jewish state. The aim was to have a few Palestinians as possible within the future Jewish state.

The first Israeli government passed strings of laws deterring the Palestinian Arabs from claiming their property or coming back to their homes. This rendered them and their descendants refugees. The other reason why the Palestinians were expelled was because of Haganah militia’s Plan Dalet. As an example Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion, said “We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population.” He continued that, "We must do everything to ensure them [the Palestinians] never return." He predicted, "The old will die and the young will forget."

This expulsion has since been referred to by some historians as  the blueprint of ethnic cleansing

Israel later proposed the return of 100,000 of the refugees as a gesture of goodwill. This was during the Lausanne conference that occurred in the 1949. These refugees were not necessarily to return to their homes. The above figure had in it factored 25,000 Palestinian Arabs that had returned secretly and the reunion cases that added up to 10,000 families. Though the Israelis accepted the above proposal they had a condition that they would retain the territory it had taken. The Arab states were to absorb the rest of the refugees, a proposal they utterly rejected on both political and moral grounds. Whether Israel will give the pedestrians their claimed right to return to their homes or be compensated, are key issues that form the basis of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Amidst all these, there were Palestinians who remained as citizens in what became Israel. It was until 1966 that the Israeli military rule let them free. To date, nearly 20 percent of Israel’s population are the Palestinian. They have various rights for example the right to run for office and vote. “.

Cinemas on the Holocaust and Naqba, 1948

There are several films that depict the holocaust in Israel. Holocaust films appeared in the Israeli cinema in just after World War II and again after 1978. An example is the Wooden Gun (Ilan Moshenson, 1978). There are however, other Holocaust related cinema consists of a small number of feature films such asTel Aviv-Berlin (Tzipi Trope, 1986) ,Judah (Yaacov Ben Dov,1917) and New Land (Orna Ben-Dor Niv, 1994), and out of the Ashes among others.

Most of these films depict the painful nostalgia that is experienced by the Arab refugees. They depict the lives of the millions of Palestinian refugees dispersed around the world. Nonetheless, it portrays the fact that the refugee’sinternationally-recognized rights are still not accepted especially in Israel. They are not permitted to return yet a Jew from anywhere in the world can settle in Israel.

At the start of the twenty-first century, Middle Eastern politics have penetrated the global imagination and claimed media attention as never before. But while in the films and narratives of others the region's inhabitants are often eroticized or demonized in oriental’s fashion as terrorists or religious fundamentalists, Middle Eastern cinemas engage with their politics rather differently, as these three books testify, all of them firmly situating the region's cinemas on the map of ‘world cinema’. Thus they offer not only important reflections on what is politically at stake in cinematic representation but also a provocative dialogue with international affairs that is rare in film scholarship.


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