This month’s Arab Film Series online program FREEDOM IN FRAMES looks at nonviolent resistance movements against the Israeli occupation by both Palestinian and Israeli activists, shedding light on real life stories that symbolise courage, determination and hope.
Online Screening: Dec 14- 31
Free / $5 Suggested Donation
The program unfolds with Naila and the Uprising, the exploration of a young woman’s choices amidst a nationwide uprising in the Occupied Palestinian Territories during the First Intifada. Through animation, intimate interviews, and exclusive archival footage, the film unveils the courageous women activists who spearheaded a vibrant, nonviolent mobilization, challenging historical narratives that often overlooked their pivotal roles.
Following this, Boycott takes center stage, offering a gripping look at the far-reaching implications of anti-boycott legislation in the United States. This legal thriller follows the journeys of ordinary Americans who, faced with the choice between their jobs and political beliefs, launch legal battles that expose an attack on freedom of speech. The film resonates with the theme of standing up to protect our rights in an era of shifting politics and threats to freedom of speech.
Budrus takes us to the heart of an unlikely community-led movement against the destruction of a Palestinian village by Israel’s Separation Barrier. The documentary introduces Palestinian activist Ayed Morrar and his daughter, Iltezam, whose nonviolent resistance strategy united diverse political factions and even drew in Israeli allies. “Budrus” showcases the power of unity and nonviolence in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, illustrating the broader possibilities for peace in the Middle East.
The program concludes with My Neighborhood, a deeply personal narrative of Mohammed El Kurd growing up in Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem. This intimate portrayal reveals the resilience of a community facing court-sanctioned evictions and the unexpected alliances formed in the pursuit of a shared future. The film captures the essence of cooperation and determination amidst tension, highlighting voices rarely heard in discussions of Jerusalem.
Freedom in Frames weaves together these powerful narratives, emphasizing the transformative potential of nonviolent resistance, the strength found in unexpected alliances, and the shared yearning for a just and inclusive future. Through the lens of director Julia Bacha’s thought-provoking documentaries, we invite audiences to contemplate the impact of individual choices, the courage to challenge the status quo, and the enduring spirit of those who dare to dream of a just and peaceful future.
The Arab Film Series online is a monthly program of films and discussions with artists and filmmakers from the SWANA region and its diasporas, presented by ArteEast in partnership with the Arab American National Museum and Arab Film and Media Institute.