The Palestinian cause has shifted in recent years toward a subtler characteristic of going through a rainstorm with feet dragging in sloshed mud that might clear up then get hit by yet another downfall. It is endless, and it is tireless on some ends, but the ends do not seem to meet. We can become easily lost as we try desperately to sift through self-proposed claims given by newly emerging writers or directors. These anti-hero mashups can feel like an ego seeking need only for the desire of becoming famous (they so happen to be Palestinian, how utterly shocking). One mention of a film that caught the wrong attention of some viewers leaving them believing that intimacy is an unnaturally ruthless act taking away from the storyline, was the film Love, Theft and Other Entanglements. It is a film centered around the Palestinian conflict following a young man hoping to make it big which is portrayed by a disarray of childish behavior ranging from being kidnapped by a terrorist group, an internal struggle of wanting to help his country, all while trying get his lover and child back. Instead of feeling sorry for the protagonist, which the directors intended, the viewers are left underneath the bed alongside the anti-hero listening above to noise that would make you run.
However, though it may seem like a lost cause, there are some vivid contrasts between films that indirectly present the Palestinian cause, and others that seek to present to the audience that Palestine is more than just a war torn land, which has beauty and people within it who worry about their individual problems, people like you and me. These films seek to provide a connection between lives, a touch on what may seem like an unreachable region, through emotion and realism. One such film is The Wanted 18, a satirical true story of a small Palestinian village thrust into a tug of war between the Israeli state and keeping their cows, or their living. It is a movie about working as a community to outsmart people in authority in order to get a political point across. It made national headlines because the village was unjustifiably surrounded and its citizens’ belongings were forcefully taken by the Israeli government not because they were bombing anyone, not because they were hiding wanted criminals from the state of Israel, but because they stood against a tax that they believed was wrongfully implemented and that they did not have a representative in the government to speak for them. Sound familiar? Our Founding Fathers would have been proud.
How can the world be more politically aware of Palestine? How can other countries, including the United States, shift their focus toward an unstable region? How can people add more thought about another’s loved one and make it their business? What would it take, yes, what would it take to get someone to step out of their boundary into a chaotic one such as Palestine?
Most people already recognize that Palestinians are in a war zone. They are shown that:
- Palestine is in chaos.
- Families are directly being impacted and are losing their loved ones.
- People try to cope by creating films and participating in extracurricular activities.
- Palestine is a normal place and people live day to day lives like us, however, there are walls which subjugate citizens to random, abrupt bombings.
- Palestine is a surrounded territory, aligned with barbed wires and checkpoints.
- Palestine houses terrorists that seek revenge on neighboring Israelis.
- But for the most part, Palestine is shown through anti-hero demonstrations that stir no one.
So how can people petition their government for a distant, unappreciated land that is far from their reach? People are focused on their own lives, their families, their future. To petition a government has become a tall tale of slurred speeches given out with the same tantalizing voices and repeated words on social and political change within the region. Yet, to reach out at the right moment with the right motive can push ideas toward change. It will take one or two generations to move an inch on any cause though it will be worth it in the end. Deep sadness does not move anyone; neither does shaken laughter. But a claim, like their own, can always get things moving, a kind of leverage, a connection to a past that stirred us long ago into what makes us stand proud of who we are today. Can we find that?