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Netflix to Begin Streaming Israeli-Palestinian Film 'Junction 48'

posted on: Apr 11, 2017

BY: Yara Jouzy/ Contributing Writer

The combination of politics and art has become a global movement. They act as a form of activism particularly for issues such as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The newly released movie titled, Junction 48, exemplifies the unification of politics, art, the entertainment industry, and the millennial generation’s take on issues the world faces today.

Netflix recently bought the broadcasting rights of Junction 48 and will be streaming the movie across the world in the summer of 2017. The movie is gaining an overwhelming amount of positivity across the U.S. and Europe. The award-winning movie was co-written by Tamer Nafar and Israeli filmmaker Oren Moverman. It won an audience award at the Berlin Film Desitical in 2016, earned Best International Narrative Feature at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, and The New York Times labeled it a critics’ choice film. Sony Music Entertainment’s company, The Orchard, also bought the soundtrack of the movie.

The movie tells a story of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict through the eyes of two young lovers that share a passion for music. These two characters, a singer named Manar, who is played by Samar Qupty, and a hip-hop artist Kareem, played by Palestinian rapper Tamer Nafar, attempt to portray their reality of living in the Israeli-Palestinian city of Lod. It is a Jewish city near Tel Aviv, where most citizens are Israeli. During the movie, when Kareem is asked if he is an Arabic-Israeli rapper, he replies with “I’d say so,” because of the area he lives in and the people he is surrounded by, both Arabs and Israelis.

Conflicts of all kinds, both internal and external, within the Palestinian-Israeli society are portrayed in this dramatic and romantic film.

Through the music they perform, the actors show the Palestinian community in Lod – one of poverty and crime. They show the oppression inflicted by the Jewish Israeli society, and the ways in which they overcome them. The movie also demonstrates other real-life stories such as the expectations of Palestinian family members. Manar, the aspiring singer, wants to perform for an audience and have her voice heard, but her father does not support her actions. He believes it is against Arab traditions and culture, as she would be bringing shame to the family if she continued performing.

The director, Udi Aloni, is an Israeli-American film director who led the movie to its fame. His movies aim to work with art, theory, and action. One of the scenes was the demolition of Tamer’s home. Aloni didn’t want to show a demolition and move on to the next scene. Aloni wanted to show the ways in which, “Israel puts so much energy to destroy the Palestinian as a culture, that the minute Tamer referred to himself as a Palestinian, not an Israeli Arab, the minister of culture tried to destroy every show of Tamer around the country.”

The scene of the demolished home is an essential part of Palestinian history, as it is a reflection of the Nakba (the “catastrophe”), in which hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forcibly removed from their homes, watched their homes get demolished, or were massacred for their homes.

Aloni portrays this ongoing battle that the Palestinians face to this day. Americans don’t know enough about what’s happening within the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and it’s time to see the truth. Netflix’s acquirement of Junction 48, will now bring the reality of a Palestinians life to the Americans and people all over the world.