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Drifting Away: De-Occupying the Palestinian Self

Publication: Jadaliyya | Posted: Jan 15, 2016

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Speed Sisters, directed by Amber Fares. Palestine, 2015

“Through intimate glimpses into the seemingly ordinary aspects of their day-to-day lives—where they work, what their hobbies are, what routes they routinely navigate—the film manages, without much commentary, to portray the fragmented, diverse life-worlds that exist in the Occupied Territories. Here differences in class, identity documents, familial responsibility, communal piety, and more have cultivated a multitude of ways of being under an occupation that does not necessarily impose itself indiscriminately—its oppressive effects mediated and shaped by a variety of conditions. While the film does not confront the occupation as a subject directly, it does not attempt to stop its inevitable seeping into the narrative either. Instead, it allows its impact on even the most mundane aspects of daily life to assert itself. Team captain Maysoon, for example, laughs as she passes the notorious Qalandia checkpoint amidst tear gas and gunfire, seemingly desensitized to this everyday spectacle of violence.”

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