Palestine in the Cinema
Institute for Palestine Studies
Publication Year: 
Number of Pages: 
السينما الفلسطينية
الفن الفلسطيني
وعد بلفور
الافلام الفلسطينية
المخرجون الفلسطينيون
الافلام الاجنبية عن فلسطين
افلام عن فلسطين

This book gathers in one volume all that has been recorded by the camera about Palestine in nine decades: from the Balfour Declaration to the epic of Jinin, in about eight hundred films produced by a great number of Palestinian, Arab and non-Arab artists, covering a wide array of short and long footage, narrative and documentary, on various tragic events that befell Palestine and the Palestinian people. The films span over the fateful period from 1911, i.e. the days of the Ottoman rule, through the British Mandate, the Nakbah, the establishment of the State of Israel and the concomitant Palestinian Diaspora, up to 2005. A complete archive of the history of the Palestinian cinema, it was prepared by Qays al-Zubaydi and other Arab and international contributors. This compendium was conceived to protect this vital part of the Palestinian memory from loss and obliteration, especially after a good part of the Palestinian cinematographic archive was damaged or stolen during the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, with the aim of confiscating memory after expropriating the land. The book includes information about hundreds of tapes and thousands of names who contributed in producing them, or provided other techniques such as writing the stories, scenarios, filming etc. The films were realized by 246 Arab contributors from all over the Arab world, some are Palestinians from "within" historical Palestine and the Diaspora, while as many as 204 artists and technicians from various nationalities contributed the remainder of these films. The book is accompanied by a DVD including six short films that represent various samples of Palestinian film-making especially in its early period.


Qays al-Zubaydi studied photography and montage in Germany then worked as director, cameraman, and scenario writer. He directed a number of documentary and narrative films about Palestine, some of which won Arab and international awards.

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