Netflix Streams Jordanian Film About Palestinian Ethnic Cleansing by IDF Despite Threats

It depicts how Israeli soldiers killed an entire family in 1948.

The Jordanian film Farha focuses on the ethnic cleansing of Palestine during the 1948 Nakba (Arabic for the ethnic cleansing and displacement of about 700,000 Palestinians) when Zionist forces declared the creation of the State of Israel. Netflix began airing it yesterday despite Israeli politicians’ claim that it is a ‘false narrative’.

Farha is the debut creation of the Jordanian filmmaker, Darin Sallam. It revolves around about a 14-year-old Palestinian girl whose father locks her in a dark storage room to protect her during the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) siege of their village.

It also includes a scene in which the soldiers execute her entire family, including a baby.

Farha has been shown at several film festivals around the world since its release last year and is Jordan’s Oscars entry for 2023. Netflix picked it up after it was featured at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival for a global audience.

Farha‘s writer and director, Darin J. Sallam, and its producers, Deema Azar and Ayah Jardaneh, released a statement following the Israeli ministers’ attack on their film, criticizing what they called “the accusations to discredit Farha”.

The statement reads,

The film’s writer/director, Darin J. Sallam, had the urge to tell this humane and personal story that she carried with her since her childhood and to share it with the world, The film exists, we exist, and we will not be silenced”

Darin Sallam

Sallam also mentioned in interviews that she made the film because while many narrative films tell Palestinian stories, very few focus on the root cause of the conflict and occupation. She also revealed that it is the story of a friend of her mother, both of whom met each other as young women in Syria.

“The story traveled over the years to reach me. It stayed with me. When I was a child, I had this fear of closed, dark places and I kept thinking of this girl and what happened to her,” Sallam told Arab News.

Darin Sallam, Center, Red Sea Film Festival

Sallam received a special mention award for Farha at the Red Sea International Film Festival in Saudi Arabia yesterday.

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