AMMAN, Saturday, December 3, 2022 (WAFA) - The writer/director and producers of FARHA, Jordan’s Oscar submission for Best International Feature in 2023, and currently streaming worldwide on Netflix, stressed that the Israeli-led campaign against the film and the filmmakers will not silence them.
“In the past 48 hours, our film FARHA has been aggressively attacked by Israeli government officials, Israeli media as well as by Israeli individuals on social media and other platforms,” said the filmmakers in a statement.
“We, the film’s team, condemn all the accusations to discredit FARHA, the organized campaign against the film on IMDb.com to drastically lower its rating, the attempts to shut down the screening of the film (on Wednesday) in Saraya Yaffa Theater (in Israel) and the threats to cancel Netflix subscriptions should the film start streaming on the platform.
“We also 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. We will not condone any harmful threats to any member of FARHA’s team,” said the statement.
FARHA is the story of a 14-year-old Palestinian girl who watches from a locked room an entire family, including two children, being massacred by Zionist forces during the 1948 war that led to the creation of Israel through the colonization of Palestine and dispersion of the Palestinian people in what became to be known as the Palestinian Nakba, or catastrophe.
“The film’s writer/director, Darin J. Sallam, had an urge to tell this humane and personal story that she carried with her since her childhood and to share it with the world,” according to the statement by the filmmakers, adding that the film’s producers, Deema Azar and Ayah Jardaneh, “unconditionally support her decision to tell this story and will always back the film and her artistic choices all the way.”
The statement added: “The timing of this attack is not a coincidence as it was planned ahead of the film’s screening in Saraya Yaffa Theater in the city of Jaffa on November 30th; of the film’s worldwide release on Netflix on December 1st; and in the midst of FARHA’s Oscar effort in representing Jordan. It is meant to prevent the film from being seen globally and with the obvious intent to harm it.
“These attempts to silence our voices as Semite/Arabs and as Women filmmakers to dehumanize us and prevent us from telling our stories, our narrative and our truth are against any freedom of speech,” said the filmmakers, adding, “All the campaigning against FARHA will not deter us from our goal which is to share the film and the story it tells with audiences worldwide. The film exists, we exist, and we will not be silenced.”
The director and producers of the film said they were “overwhelmed by the amount of support the film is receiving globally and are grateful to everyone who is doing their part to stand up against this attack and ensure the film is spoken about and seen.”
FARHA was released last year and was shown at several film festivals around the world.