Published: 2023-01-13 19:27
Last Updated: 2023-03-28 06:11
Editor: Dana Sharayri
Jordanian film ‘Farha’ overcame all the barriers and conveyed the Palestinian cause in a new way, despite all the attacks that targeted it by many parties from the Israeli Occupation.
-- ‘Anti-Semitic’ --
Some people from the Israeli Occupation described the Jordanian film ‘Farha’ – which depicts the atrocities that were carried out against Palestinians in the 1948 Nakba – as “anti-Semitic.”
Farha’s director Darin Sallam responded to these accusations by saying: “We, as Arabs, are Semitic. So for me, this is all just a lie that the Israeli Occupation tells to scare us.”
In an interview with Roya, she noted that many do not know that Arabs are Semitic.
“People from the other side of the world don’t know that we as Arabs are Semitic.”
She added: “This is nothing but an excuse made by the powerless. They don’t know how to make us narrate things the way they want.”
Sallam spoke about the reason why she told Farha’s story.
In 2011, Sallam found herself writing the story about the 1948 Nakba “effortlessly.”
She said that when she was a little girl, her mother told her about a Palestinian girl who reached Syria and told her story to the world. Farha is based on a real story about a Palestinian girl who was separated from her father and family after the Haganah militia entered their village in Palestine in 1948.
“It was about a real person my mother had met when she was a child. So the story was always on my mind, which is about a girl who was locked inside a pantry by her father for her own protection, following the events that were taking place due to the Nakba. This girl survived and was able to reach Syria,” Sallam said.
Sallam said that she was attached to Farha’s character.
“I empathized with this girl and imagined how scared she was and how she was feeling (while being locked) in that pantry. I also fear closed places,” she said.
Farha's father locked her inside a pantry to protect her after Zionist forces attacked their village.
-- ‘They stole Palestinians’ joy’ --
When asked why the film was called ‘Farha’ which translates into joy, Sallam said that the Israeli Occupation stole Palestinians’ joy, which is Palestine.
“There was a contradiction in the film’s story, the journey that Farha went through, and the film’s name. This was the joy that was stolen from Palestinians,” according to Sallam.
She noted that the film still receives incitement campaigns from the Israeli Occupation, however, they are targeting the film now in “new ways.”
“Every now and then, they try to bring down the film’s IMDb rating. We try to keep an eye out on that, but they (the Israeli Occupation) are now more aware of how to deal with this matter without drawing attention.”
-- ‘Don’t waste a bullet on a child’ --
In the film, Farha witnesses the massacre of a Palestinian family, consisting of a father, mother, and their three children (two girls and an infant). Zionist forces, however, leave the infant alive and the commander tells one of the soldiers to kill the infant, but without wasting a “bullet on him.”
Sallam said: “The Haganah soldiers were brought in a random way from different places and just told what to do. So, one of the characters was the young soldier who the commander told not to waste a bullet on a child. This was a sentence that was actually said in Palestine during the Nakba. They used to say don’t waste a bullet on a child. This meant they just had to smash a child’s skull with their combat boots.”
-- ‘Burlap sack’ --
Sallam took the opportunity to explain the significance of the ‘Burlap sack’ character, saying that the point was to stress that Palestinians were forced to cooperate and did not sell out their country willingly.
“The uncle, who appeared in a burlap sack, was created after many people told me that Palestinians “sold out” their country. This burlap sack character exists in many movies. I, however, always responded that this is just one character, but even those who did that had no other choice but to do so. They were never a part of the killing,” she said.
During the 1948 Nakba, more than 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly expelled from their homeland.