Israel Faces Exodus of Palestinian Filmmakers

'Voluntary Transfer': Israel Faces Exodus of Palestinian Filmmakers

Funding is difficult, courts get in the way, the state censors, co-productions have vanished and the Arab world reacts with suspicion - the impossible reality facing acclaimed Palestinian directors in Israel is forcing them to leave

Three months ago, an Israeli district court ruled that contentious documentary film “Jenin, Jenin” may not be shown ever again in the country. A judge ruled that all copies of the film - which suggests Israeli soldiers committed war crimes in Jenin during Operation Defensive Shield - be confiscated, and ordered the director, Mohammed Bakri, to pay 175,000 shekels ($54,000) in damages to a reservist soldier shown in the film, who sued. Essentially, the court was saying that the Palestinian-Israeli director’s narrative is false, and that Israelis are only allowed to consume a different truth.

For Palestinian filmmakers, this was just another implicit threat from the Israeli establishment: adapt to the narrative that this country wants to be heard, or your films will be banned and you will be fined.

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