Palestinian Arabic Learning Resources: Movies
One of the best and most fun ways to learn foreign languages is to watch movies in that language. Here are some excellent Palestinian movies with English subtitles that will help you boost your knowledge of Palestinian Arabic. Not only that, these movies will introduce you to the many interesting aspects in the daily life of the Palestinian people, both in Palestine and in the diaspora. Enjoy!
Amreeka is a fictional film documenting the story of the divorced Palestinian woman Muna Farah, and her son Fadi, following their immigration from the Palestinian Territories to Illinois, USA. Though undeniably heart-warming, and at times wickedly funny, the film highlights the difficulties of living as a Middle Eastern immigrant in a country still reeling from the impact of 9/11. Dabis’ film tackles issues of race, religion and gender through the stoic and immensely likable Muna, making the concept of cross-cultural immigration universally relevant, with heartfelt humor and sincerity.
This multi award winning Oscar nominated thriller tells the story of a young Palestinian man under pressure to collaborate with the Israeli authorities. Omar is the first Palestinian film entirely funded by Palestinians.
Jenin, Jenin (2002)
Directed by prominent Arab actor Mohammed Bakri, Jenin, Jenin is a film intended to reveal what Bakri calls the Palestinian truth about the Jenin Massacre of 2002. Violent clashes occurred between the Israeli army and Palestinian civilians living in the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank during the April of that year with allegations of terrorism being thrown from each side. The film follows little to no narrative, the 54-minute-long documentary being made up of a series of first-hand accounts of the violence. This rawness of concept and execution however is a powerful choice on Bakri’s part and the Shoah-esque simplicity of the documentary is a testament to the power of the testimonies it presents.
Arna's Children (2003)
This raw documentary is about a children’s theater group in Jenin, established by the filmmaker’s mother Arna Mer-Khamis, an Israeli Jewish human rights activist. Shifting in time, it juxtaposes the lives of the children in the theater, with the martyrs and militants that they become. Militants assassinated the director in Jenin, in 2011.