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Jordanians stand behind Netflix film ‘Farha’ amid Israeli criticism

By Maria Weldali - Dec 07,2022 - Last updated at Dec 07,2022

Image courtesy of Farha Facebook page

AMMAN — The Jordanian social issue drama “Farha”, which is currently streaming on Netflix, has stirred global attention and “proves popular”, despite Israeli outrage and denial of the reality of its depicted events.

Directed by Jordanian Darin J. Sallam, the movie portrays Palestinians’ struggle and suffering, through the lens of a Palestinian teenager named Farha, and how her dreams and rights were “shattered by the harrowing developments of the Nakbeh”, according to Netflix.

The Nakbeh is an Arabic word which means a “disaster” or “catastrophe”. Specifically, this word is commonly used to refer to the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in 1948, as well as the forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians subsequent to the creation of the Israeli state on Palestinian land.

The Jordanian film, which has been described by some viewers as “eye-opening”, has received largely positive reviews.

“Movies are not only for fun and entertainment; they sometimes tell the world the untold truth,” Sarah Hussein, a Jordanian in her 30s who watched the movie, told The Jordan Times on Tuesday.

This film serves as a reminder of the Israeli-perpetrated massacres of Palestinians that started in 1948, and never truly ended, Hussein said.

Seren Yousef, a Jordanian, said that “this movie is powerful and it was denied by Israelis because it has further exposed their atrocities against the people of Palestine”.

The film has simply shown a narrative that is not accepted by Israelis, she told The Jordan Times.

On Twitter, London-based writer Shareefa Energy commented on the movie, writing that “over 800,000 Palestinians displaced, 15,000 massacred, 418 villages ethnically cleansed in 1948…”

Journalist Ahmed Eldin tweeted: “The Israeli regime is in Full Panic Mode over FARHA”.

According to a statement which was jointly released by the director and producers of Farha following Israeli outrage over the movie said that the movie has been “aggressively attacked” by Israeli government officials and other representatives through social media platforms and other mediums.

“We condemn the onslaught of hateful messages, harassment, accusations and bullying by Israelis that are targeting the film’s director on social media and on other outlets,” the statement said.

Israeli attempts to silence the movie’s director and producers are against freedom of speech, the statement added.

In this regard, the Royal Film Commission (RFC) announced that it has been supportive of the film since its release. A statement from the RFC said that “we are against any attempts to curtail the freedom of expression, and impose a certain narrative, while certainly hate speech, and intimidation campaigns are unacceptable”.

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