Palestinian Cinema: Resistance Is Existence

Palestinian cinema serves as a reminder to continue to pursue justice and freedom without apology

Anonymous · October 12, 2023

4 min read

Amidst a seemingly endless stream of oppression, adversity and injustice, I, a Palestinian in the diaspora, find inspiration in the enduring strength of my people, our traditions, and our cinema. For 75 years, we have felt the weight of relentless abuse, and we have lived through oppression, displacement, and loss. Despite this, our spirit remains unbroken, our resolve unwavering, and our determination unyielding in our path to freedom. We persist, resist, and possess a unique strength that defies apartheid. In this sense, Palestinian cinema exists as a form of inspiration and resistance—a portrayal of hope that represents our unwavering commitment to resistance and the path to liberation.

These are not just films in and of themselves; they’re battle cries of a people who refuse to apologize for their existence. They’re mirrors that reflect the indomitable spirit of a nation that, even in the face of insurmountable odds, stands tall and unyielding. Films like Paradise Now, Omar, and Farha highlight the heart of the Palestinian experience and remind us that we will never apologize for standing up to injustice. These films show us people who embody defiance. These are people who—as the media would have you believe it—are not terrorists, but personifications of resilience. Palestinian cinema reminds us to never apologize for our existence; we are the descendants of a people who have endured and fought for three-quarters of a century. Palestine will forever be synonymous with the unbroken legacy of resistance.

Palestinian cinema has historically contained portrayals of our suffering and I hope one day to witness a world where Palestinian stories don’t radiate with an aura of sadness and misery. I hope to see a world where Palestinian stories are instead synonymous with positivity and optimism. Still, these films go beyond chronicles of suffering; they honor our culture and heritage that extends over thousands of years. Films like Salt of This Sea and The Time That Remains illustrate the beauty of Palestinian life, our customs, and the enduring strength of family in our community. These films remind us of the vibrance of our culture and that even in the worst of times, our spirit burns ever brighter, and our laughter echoes louder. Our hope remains unshakable.

The act of filmmaking in an environment where we are seen as less than people is an inherent act of resistance—it’s a declaration that we will not be silenced. It’s a call for our voices to resonate across the world. Zionists have tried to repress our voices for years, but we are the owners of a formidable legacy, and we will never apologize for our struggle, for reclaiming our stolen land, for yearning for freedom. Our existence embodies resistance, and our resistance is the essence of our identity.

If you are only just now tuning into our struggle, you need to delve deeper. Our casualties have continued to grow for years, yet Palestinians are marginalized, forgotten, and unjustly labeled as terrorists. My home has been turned into an open-air prison. We have tried everything to achieve freedom: diplomacy, boycotts, and peaceful protests, but the rest of the world stays blind to us while Zionists continue to oppress and colonize us.

I refuse to argue with anyone about my own existence because there is no compromise when it comes to basic human rights. If you don’t think that this is something that Palestinians deserve, then I refuse to engage with you. Our existence is resistance and the world will recognize that Palestinian resistance is not terrorism; it is an earnest plea for justice, an unwavering cry for freedom, and an assertion of our very existence. We will not be coerced into defending or apologizing for our existence, for our existence is our resistance. We will continue to fight, for we embody strength, and that strength is the eternal flame that will guide us to the promise of liberation. Palestine will be free, and the world will bear witness to the thunderous strength of a people who will continue to pursue justice and freedom without apology.

This is an anonymous submission.

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