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Reviving Palestinian Cinema

By: Hadil Abuhmaid

Palestinian cinema, like so many other aspects of our lives, has been and still is heavily affected by the Israeli occupation. History shows that the first Palestinian film was produced in 1935 by Ibrahim Hassan Sirhan, who in 1945 established the Arab Film Company, believed to be the first Palestinian production company. Unfortunately, its life was cut short in 1948, and the films that had been produced are nowhere to be found today. In the two decades following the Nakba, Palestinian film production was timid, if existent at all. It was not until the late sixties, after the Naksa of 1967, that Palestinian cinema emerged again. Over a few years, more than sixty films were produced, most of them Palestinian revolution-related documentaries.