After a lot of pressure from those not wanting the world to know the truth, the streaming giant Netflix – have finally released the movie, Farha, and it’s a story that needs to be seen by all those who say they are advocates for Human Rights, yet not when it comes to the people of Palestine. The film is set in 1948, and what was the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people by those known as Zionists, and reveals what is referred to as The Nakba, (The Palestinian Catastrophe).
Films like these are rare because they are based on true events, albeit told by Jordanian Arabs, about Palestinian Arabs, during The Nakba of 1948, when Zionist forces rampaged their way through Palestine, expelling around 750,000 Palestinians from their homes, bulldozing whole villages to the ground, and claiming around 75% of the land of Palestine, and while I could write a lot about that story and what has occurred since then, there are more knowledgeable people than me who can do that better. However, this movie delivers the essential information for those interested in what has become a long Apartheid.
The protagonist of the film is a 14-year-old Palestinian girl named Farha, who with her friend, Fareeha, wants to get an education in the city. Her father though, is reluctant about that, and has ideas on finding a suitor/husband, for her. However, her uncle convinces her father to allow her the chance of adding to her education in the city.
While Farha, does receive her enrollment letter, her happiness is short-lived when her village is attacked, and to protect Farha, her father locks her inside the storage room of their house.
From then on the film revolves around that tiny storage room which becomes a symbolic expression for how suffocated and controlled the Palestinian people have become on their own land as it becomes reduced through land grabs and racist laws in a controlled apartheid that is today nothing more than an open-air prison.
While Farah remains in the storage room for a time, what is occurring on the outside draws her to cracks and muddy windows in attempts to see what is going on outside, and witnesses both birth and death, and in her face, every expression unfolds, that captures what it must have been like then, if not today.
The film is a brave undertaking in an attempt at revealing to the world and reaching those who don’t know, the history of Palestine and its people, and how they have suffered at the hands of racism, and certainly, if you’re Irish, a catholic, and a nationalist, you can identify from our own colonial terror, with the struggle of the Palestinian people.
The film is is based on a true story, but it does the massacre of Palestinian civilians in places like Deir Yassin, where many women and children lost their lives, and other things that happened across Galilee. In fact, Israeli historian Ilan Pappe, in his book – The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine – describes in quite a bit of detail, the brutality unleashed during that Nakba.
Naturally, the film is not liked by those who control Israel, and they have reacted by castigating Netflix and advocating for those who use the service to cancel their subscriptions, and while there will be those who will do this, don’t be surprised if Netflix becomes banned, if not binned there.
Fact is, the film is a visual portrayal of history from a witness to that Nakba, and those memories are essential to preserving a history that many would prefer forgotten, buried, and erased from the history books. However the more you mistreat a people, the more they will do to record that history, something I understand, and if you want to know why Irish Nationalists still despise colonialism or anything similar, look no further than the Irish Potato blight that was passed as a famine, and became a genocide. That’s only one instance, there are many more, lest we forget.
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