Al Miftah (The Key)
The plight of the Palestinians can be reduced to a series of shocking statistics:
Percentage of historic Palestine remains? (18%); Proportion of Palestinians are refugees (71%); Proportion constituting the wider Diaspora (67%); Percentage of Palestinian Christians that remain (10%); Number of child prisoners (340); Number of illegal settlements (over 124); Number of checkpoints (over 600); Length of the Apartheid Wall (400 miles); Proportion of Israelis that are Palestinian (20%); Number of UN resolutions against Israeli actions (131) Percentage of Palestinians under the age of fifteen (47%).
Facts don’t tell the whole story – life is about people. The film will cover emotive such as – what it feels like to have your child taken away in the middle of the night.
What it feels like to be given ten minutes to evacuate your home. What it feels like to be searched on your way to prayer. What it feels like to be forced to live in a tent a few hundred yards from your village that is now a museum to a fake past. What it feels like to see settlers attacking your family while the state’s law enforcers look on impassively – or worse encourage them.
The title ‘Al Miftah (The Key)’ – refers to the practice by Palestinians of keeping the key to the homes they have been driven from due to displacement and Israeli occupation. The Key symbolises not just the right, but the fervent desire to return to those homes, while maintaining a link to their homeland; historic Palestine. The film will paint a vivid picture of the Palestinian experience. Some stories will be set in the present; others will take us back in time, using those treasured family keys as a device to link stories that depict recent personal histories of an extraordinary people.
Themes will also carry us through the journey – like ‘water’. Each day in the Palestinian Occupied Territory, long established refugee camps have their water cut off without notice. The tactic is rife and the population never know how long the situation will last. The film will show the emotional impact on individuals, but without preaching, allowing the Palestinians to tell their own powerful stories.
The Palestinian narrative – their stories, their lives, their experience – deserve to be told and need to be heard. ‘Al Miftah (The Key)’ will be a unique collaboration between Palestinian Artists and Hurricane Films.
“The racism is so profound it’s like the air we breathe… Israeli Jews are people and Palestinians are ‘unpeople’.” Noam Chomsky, Barnard College, New York City October 2011