“We want to travel our story”: Netflix announces Palestinian film collection

File photo: A smartphone with the Netflix logo appears on the keyboard in front of the word “streaming service” displayed in this figure, taken on March 24, 2020. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic

October 14, 2021

By Zainah El-Haroun

Ramallah / Jerusalem (Reuters) on the West Bank – Palestinian director Amin Naife is proud after a film revives the personal struggle of passing through an Israeli military checkpoint to visit his dying grandfather. He said he thought. But he didn’t expect his short film to have a wide audience.

Everything changed for Nayfeh on Thursday when Netflix launched the first new Palestinian film collection of its kind with major streaming services, including the award-winning short film The Crossing.

“That’s why we make movies. We want people to know us because we want to travel our story,” 33-year-old Naife told Reuters.

“If you type Palestine in the Netflix search button, you’ll see a variety of titles that you can see. Previously, typing Palestine gave me the title of Israel,” he said.

Netflix’s new Palestinian collection, Palestinian Story, consists of 32 award-winning films directed by Palestinian filmmakers or telling Palestinian stories, the company said in a press release on Tuesday. ..

Netflix spokesman Nuha El Tayeb said:

Many of the films tell the story of Palestinian life in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Gaza Strip was occupied by Israel during the 1967 Middle East War, and Palestinians are seeking a future independent state.

Israel maintains a military checkpoint on the west bank of the Jordan River because of security concerns. Palestinians say obstacles severely limit the movement of the entire territory.

After Spotify launched music streaming services in the Middle East and North Africa in 2018, before filmmakers, Palestinian musicians began to enjoy the benefits of streaming to viewers around the world.

Netflix has made a new collection of Palestinian films available to all customers, the company said.

Huda Al Imam, an actress in the Oscar-nominated movie Ave Maria, who also appears in Netflix’s Palestinian collection, said she would extend the scope of the Palestinian story.

“Thanks to Netflix, the story of Palestine and its beauty and painful Palestinian life will now be shown to the world,” said Al Imam.

(Report and writing by Zainah El-Haroun in Ramallah, additional report by Mustafa Abu Ganeyeh in Jerusalem, edited by Mark Heinrich)

“We want to travel our story”: Netflix announces Palestinian film collection

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