Must-See Cinema: Reel Palestine Film Festival Returns to Dubai with These Captivating Palestinian Stories

Attention to all film lovers and cinephiles as Palestine is going to be celebrated through the art of film during The Reel Palestine Film Festival, which is making a comeback to Dubai.

From January 26 to February 4, the hidden tales of Palestinian people will be placed in the limelight. These are some of the films taking part in the upcoming festival:

The Teacher

Academy Award Nominated and BAFTA Award Winning Palestinian British filmmaker Farah Nabulsi was back at it again with her powerful film called The Teacher. The filming process was deep and personal, as it involved her return to Palestine and the influx of memories that are associated with the occupied land.

The film takes a deep look at the life of a teacher who struggles to reconcile his risky commitment to political resistance with the hope of a new relationship with a volunteer worker called Lisa.


Lyd is a sci-fi documentary directed by Palestinian writer and activist Rami Younis and American filmmaker Sarah Ema Friedland. It narrates the story of a city known as Lyd that, at one point in time, connected Palestine to the rest of the world.

The documentary envisions a version of Lyd and Palestine itself that didn’t face the horrors of the Nakba. This is done through animation, archival material, interviews, and drone footage.

Tomorrow’s Freedom 

Over the span of five years, Georgia and Sophia Scott worked on the documentary Tomorrow’s Freedom, giving viewers an intimate look into the family of imprisoned political leader Marwan Barghouthi.

Getting to know about Barghouthi from the people who know him best, the documentary is made up of in-depth interviews with his closest relatives.

Bye Bye Tiberias 

French-Palestinian-Algerian filmmaker Lina Soualem’s 2003 documentary is all about one’s return to their homeland. After several years, Soualem and her mother, French and Palestinian actress and director Hiam Abbass, who left Palestine to pursue an acting career, both returned to their homeland.

This special documentary explores four generations of women and their shared experience of homeland separation.


Here & Elsewhere 

Back in 1970, the Palestinian nationalist political party commissioned the French cinematic legend Jean-Luc Godard to take the reins and go to Palestine to produce a documentary that explores the nationalist party’s conflict with Israel.

What sets this film apart is that a lot of what was shot didn’t end up in the final cut. Unfortunately, many Palestinians involved in its filming lost their lives, leaving very little subject matter to complete the film. Godard applied his cinematic prowess to still bring the film into the limelight.

Slingshot Hip-Hop 

Bringing music to the fore is a documentary that features Palestinian rappers who form an alternative form of resistance. Directed by Palestinian-Syrian-American director Jacqueline Reem Salloum, viewers will get to learn about the history and development of hip hop in Palestine since its start in the late 90s.

Many other films will be screened in the festival, including Mohanad Yaqubi’s R21, aka Restoring Solidarity, and Yousef Srouji’s Three Promises. Get your popcorn ready and witness these special stories by nabbing a ticket from Cinema Akil.

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