Netflix to introduce 32 new Palestinian films

Netflix will launch a collection of 32 films either helmed by Palestinian filmmakers or about Palestinian stories, under the category ‘Palestinian Stories’ on October 14. The collection is a tribute to the creativity and passion of the Arab film industry as Netflix continues to invest in stories from the Arab world.

Basil Khalil’s 2015 Oscar-nominated short Ave Maria, Jacir’s Salt of this Sea and Suleiman’s Divine Intervention will be available on the streaming platform, among other titles.

Five titles by Palestinian documentary filmmaker Mahdi Fleifel will also be available this month on Netflix including A Man Returned (2016), A Drowning Man (2017), 3 Logical Exits (2020), Xenos (2014)and A World Not Ours (2012). Fleifel, who won the Black Pearl Award for A World Not Ours at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival in 2012, focuses his work on the refugee experience.

Raed Andoni’s documentary Ghost Hunting and Mai Masri’s feature 3000 Nights are also among the list of films to be shown.

May Odeh, Director of The Crossing, commented on the release saying: “I’m glad to finally have alternative Palestinian films accessible to wide audiences through Netflix. We all in the Palestinian film industry have been eager to share our narrative with the world through our authentic creative productions as an alternative to news reporting. I can’t thank the team at Netflix and Front Row enough for the effort to make this happen”.

On the other hand, Nuha El Tayeb, Director, Content Acquisitions, MENAT at Netflix, added: “The diversification of our content sits close to my heart as Netflix works to become the home of Arabic cinema, a place where anyone in the world can access great Arab stories. We believe that great stories travel beyond their place of origin, are told in different languages and enjoyed by people from all walks of life and, with the Palestinian Stories collection, we hope to amplify these beautiful stories to a global audience. While these stories are distinctly and authentically Arab, the themes are quintessentially human, and will resonate with audiences across the world. That is the true beauty of storytelling”.

It has to be noted that other films by Palestinian filmmakers are coming to Netflix such as When I Saw You (by Annemarie Jacir), Frontiers of Dreams and Fears (by Mai Masri), Children of Shatila (by Mai Masri), Paradise Now (by Elia Suleiman), Chronicle of a Disappearance (by Elia Suleiman), In Vitro (by Linda Sarsour), Maradona’s Legs (by Firas Khoury), The Crossing (by Ameen Nayfeh), and Bonbone (by Rakan Mayasi).