Monday, August 17, 2015

The Story in Film

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Understanding the Palestinian – Israeli conflict, surprisingly, can be easily achieved.  While there are many books, articles, and blog posts on the subject, through the medium of moving pictures we can take in a broad sweep of events in a short time.  The questions we are left with, of course, can be researched further in books and on the Internet.  Film, however, is the quickest way to begin to get a grasp of the issues and complexities behind and within the conflict.

We recommend starting with the video ‘The Land Speaks Arabic.’  The very idea of creating a modern, secular, geo-political Israeli State in Palestine is only a little more than 100 years old.  Our review as well as links to more information can be found on the post titled, ‘History.’

To begin to bring your understanding up to current times, our next film recommendation is ‘Five Broken Cameras.’  This film shows the landscape of Palestine, the plight of the Indigenous people still living on their traditional lands today, and their struggle against Israel’s relentless oppression and annexation.  Our review and links to more information can be found here:

Palestinian youth also have a story to tell. ‘Slingshot Hip Hop’ shares the story of their efforts to find their voice, not just among Palestinian people, but also in and related to the wider world where many of us are engaged in resisting racism and oppression.  In the film we begin to grasp the effects of Israeli ethnic cleansing on the families that have been displaced within Israel as well as in the West Bank and Gaza, and we get a glimpse of what it is like to live under the illegal Israeli occupation.  We get a good look at the separation walls, the check points, the lack of consistent electricity, and what the effects are on the people’s lives.  The Palestinian Hip Hop movement is traced from its infancy up to today, where it has become a powerful voice.  A powerful voice that is ignored by mainstream media.  

Slingshot Hip-Hop

"When delivering a message, art is more effective than violence.

I consider art to be the most important messenger.

Violence only breeds more violence and destruction."

The movie starts out in Arabic.  After the title shot, there are subtitles in English as well as versions which can be purchased with French of Spanish subtitles.  A portion of the music and discussion is also in English.  You can view the official trailer here:

"Tears can't extinguish hope."

dvd image

'Slingshot Hip Hop' is an important part of the education of anyone who wants to understand the Palestinian - Israeli conflict today.  Available on request from most public libraries and wherever you normally rent movies.  Copies can also be purchased for home use, by educational institutions and libraries, as well as non-profit organizations.  For more information please see:


Image Credits:

The reel to reel film photo is from Wikimedia Commons
All other images are from Slingshot Hip Hop's web page.


For all our posts about films or that include information on films, please see:


Participate!  If you have a favorite Palestinian DVD, especially if it tells a part of the story we haven’t covered yet, please use the comments section below to tell us about it.  We may be able to feature your recommendation in an up-coming blog post. 



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