Farha brings back the horrifying memories of Nakba
By watching Farha, every Palestinian will get to see their own families losing their homes, families, and land as the Jordanian movie recounts the horrors of the 1948 Palestinian Nakba.
Imagine that you prepared yourself to watch the movie that your friend has been urging you to watch. You prepare the setting, make some popcorn, and sit down to watch. You are all set. You turn your TV or laptop on and log in to your Netflix account and click on the ‘Farha’ movie and start watching.
Undoubtedly, what you will be doing next is typing 'Nakba' on Google's search bar.
Realizing it is all true
Upon finishing the movie, you will feel heavy-hearted and irritated, with a possible fear of closed places.
What will make you feel even worse is realizing that the events depicted in the movie were based on a true story. All the horrific scenes, the murders, the screams, and the tears.. they all did happen in real life.
The forceful displacements, mass killings of children and families, and seizure of lands and homes... "Israel" did do all that during the Nakba in 1948 all for the sake of occupying Palestine, and they are still ongoing until this very day.
Imagining Palestine before the occupation
“Goodbye, Goodbye!” Farha, the main character, is seen screaming at the British troops getting out of Palestine. Farha did not know any other word to express her anger to kick the troops out of her homeland.
The movie allows you to get a snippet of the Palestinians before the Israeli occupation, which refutes all the Israeli false narratives about how Palestine "never existed" or that there is "no such thing as Palestinians."
Take Farha as an example; she was a 14-year-old girl who had all the future ahead of her and was dreaming of becoming a teacher and building a girls' school in her village. She wanted to study maths, science, history, and English. She wanted to move to the city where her best friend lives.
The Palestinian culture meticulously depicted in the movie is bedazzling and can easily enchant you. One cannot help but notice the Palestinian embroidery on the dresses of the characters and the Palestinian songs that were heard on different occasions in the movie. The movie takes you on a journey through all the Palestinian traditions before the Israeli occupation.
Before the Israeli attack on the Palestinian village, Farha can be seen sitting beside her best friend on a swing as they chatted about what they wanted to become when they grow up.
"When I grow up, I want to become..." Farha's best friend said and was just about to complete her sentence when Israeli forces invaded the village. Israeli bombs and bullets interrupted the whole scenery. The two swings where the two best friends were seated have now become empty as they ran away in horror.
What follows is a complete mess and chaos in Farha’s village where everything is suddenly shattered; families, best friends, and even 14-year-old kids’ dreams.
From dreaming of going to the city to attend school, Farha was now saying goodbye to her father who was trying to lock her in the pantry to keep her safe.
She was stuck in the pantry for days, without water, clean oxygen, a bathroom, or even a bed to sleep on. Most importantly, the 14-year-old girl found herself watching, through a hole in the door, a whole family being executed by Israeli soldiers.
Throughout the period in which Farha is stuck inside the pantry, the viewer can only see Farha and hear the sounds, which Farha is hearing, around the village. You can hear the sounds of footsteps and bullets fired by Israeli soldiers ordering and kicking Palestinians out of their houses before killing them.
Why are the events important to mention?
The events of the Palestinian Nakba and everything that happened afterward, from massacres to forced displacements and land theft, are not well documented, and even those that are documented do not find a platform as huge as Netflix to be streamed on, thus failing to reach millions of people and thus, fading away with time.
Stories from the Nakba are usually sent down from one generation to another, but the people who lived through the Nakba are not able now to document Israeli crimes by themselves. The Nakba generation worked hard to preserve the Palestinian right to return, and if one asks an 80-year-old Palestinian if he still believes, after all this time, that he will return to Palestine, he will say yes, indeed.
However, unfortunately, the voices of this particular generation are fading as the years pass by. That is why it is crucial to document Israeli crimes during the Nakba; to understand that Palestine is an occupied land for generations to come.
Farha gives Palestinian refugees, especially the younger generation who did not get to hear a Nakba story from their grandfather, mother, or father the opportunity to hear and watch what their family went through.
Farha gives the chance to every Palestinian to get a glimpse of the painful memories of the Nakba. Every person who does believe in the Palestinian struggle for freedom will get to live an experience that no one wishes to live in real life.
So why are Israelis mad?
Whenever a new Israeli massacre is exposed, the occupation will get mad. And what is their weapon of choice? Anti-Semitism, of course.
While the movie does not refer in any way to Jewish people, many Israelis felt the urge to lead smear campaigns against Farha under the pretext of "anti-Semitism".
The campaigns were not just virtual. Some Israeli officials took the time to condemn the movie and demand taking it down from Netflix.
Israeli culture minister was so bothered and disturbed by the facts in the movie that he had to state that it "depicted lies and libels," the same lies and libels his occupation entity was based on.
"Israel" being exposed for committing mass killings and massacres is nothing new. Last year, Israeli media revealed that Israeli soldiers who took part in the massacre in 1948 in the Palestinian village of Tantura admitted to a mass killing of Palestinian civilians.
An Israeli director collected testimonies from Israeli soldiers who were present during the massacre in a documentary film titled "Tantura".
And these are the only massacres that are mentioned. One can only imagine the number of massacres that were committed by "Israel" throughout more than 70 years of illegal, ruthless, and blood-thirsty occupation.
"It could cause a whole scandal."— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) January 28, 2022
Israeli soldiers that took part in a massacre in 1948 at the Palestinian village of Tantura have admitted to a mass killing of #Palestinian civilians after decades.
Can you imagine the number of massacres that “Israel” has denied? #Palestine pic.twitter.com/VYnPUkqba3
And this is just one story...
The Palestinian Nakba resulted in the forced displacement and killing of millions that the public knows nothing of. There are many like Farha's father who promised to come back but never did and whose destinies remain unknown until this very day.
There are many more painful stories to tell... Palestinians who have seen worse, Palestinians who have suffered more, and Palestinians who lost everything.
Israeli media reveal that squads from the Israeli Ministry of Security hid historical documents related to the Israeli nuclear project and evidence of mass killings and destruction of villages during the #Nakba.#Palestine pic.twitter.com/fqImDMWGSE— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) August 24, 2022
Farha is not just a film that one could just drop in the back of his mind and forget all about. It is the right side of history, and more importantly, it is being witnessed by a new and fresh generation who shall bear witness to the brutality of the Israeli occupation.
While watching the movie, keep in mind that Farha is real; Farha is an actual person; Farha did go through all of these sufferings; Farha still doesn’t know anything about her father; Farha was forced to leave her homeland; and most significantly, Farha and many others like Farha do exist and their stories shall be told, whether the occupation likes it or not...