On October 14th, US streaming giant Netflix launched “Palestinian Stories”, a collection of 32 award-winning films and documentaries, either directed by Palestinian film-makers or telling stories about Palestinian lives. “Spanning many genres and styles, the collection showcases the depth and diversity of the Palestinian experience, exploring people’s lives, dreams, families, friendships and love,” Netflix officials explain.
Among the titles on offer, “Ave Maria” by Basil Khalil, nominated for the Oscars in 2015, “Like 20 Impossibles” by Anne-Marie Jacir, the first short film from the Arab world to be premiered at Cannes (2003) and “Divine Intervention” by Elia Suleiman, winner of the Jury Award at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival. Others will be added in the coming weeks.
Among the selected films there is also Ameen Nayfeh’s “The Crossing”, showing the director’s problems trying to cross an Israeli military checkpoint to visit his dying grandfather. “We make films because we want our stories to travel, we want people to know us,” Nayfeh told Reuters.
“Thanks to Netflix, Palestinian stories and Palestinian life with its beauty and agony will now be broadcast around the world,” said Huda al Imam, lead actress of “Ave Maria”. Available on all Netflix platforms, the project is intended to be a tribute to the creativity and passion of the Arab film industry.
“Palestinian Stories” is one of Netflix’ initiatives to diversify its content while “striving to become the home of Arab cinema,” said company spokesperson Nuha El Tayeb. The “Palestinian Stories” collection can be found at: Netflix.com/PalestinianStories
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Sources: dailysabah.com, haaretz.com, timesofisrael.com, about.netflix.com