‘Palestinian cinema is one of the rare cinemas in the world that is structurally exilic, as it is made either in the condition of internal exile in the occupied Palestine, or under the erasure and tensions of displacement and external exile in other countries.’ – Hamid Naficy
Permissible Dreams is a strand of contemporary and archive films exploring the politics and poetics of Palestinian cinema, the question of a Palestinian archive, and its relationship to our wider understanding of politics in the Middle East.
We look at some of the radical responses in film to moments of political rupture in the region such as the Nakba of 1948 and the Six Day War of 1967, the latter of which inspired the formation of the New Cinema Collective and the birth of New Arab Cinema.
We celebrate the legacy of Egyptian filmmaker Ateyyat El Abnoudy, one of several women at the vanguard of the movement. Her “poetic realist” style was profoundly influential and helped reshape the way Arab life was presented on screen.
Her commitment to championing people’s right to represent themselves authentically is hugely resonant when thinking about Palestinian cinema, and particularly when considering the disappearance and intentional destruction of a PLO film archive containing films spanning 25 years of Palestinian history by Israeli forces in 1982 – the recovery of which of which remains of great significance today.
Supported by Film Hub Scotland (this support is made possible through
funding from Creative Scotland and Lottery funding from the BFI) through
the Pilot Project programme.