‘Farha’ film on Netflix brings Palestinian lens to a broad audience

A film released on Netflix last month tells the coming-of-age story of a Palestinian girl amid the violent tumult of 1948 — the year Israel declared independence — and has

drawn fierce criticism from some Israelis online and in government, who say the movie distorts history and should be boycotted along with the streaming service. But the

film, “Farha,” which was selected as Jordan’s official entry for the 95th Academy Awards, has also helped bring the Palestinian perspective to a wider audience in the United

States and Europe, and could mean more visibility for Palestinian historical narratives in the West, experts say. It vividly depicts the horrors Palestinians collectively

refer to as the Nakba, or catastrophe, including a series of massacres historians say were carried out by Israeli forces — and the forced exodus of 750,000 Palestinians from their

homeland. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict: A chronology This history is hotly contested in Israel, which celebrates the era as one of triumph and independence and has at

times censored documentation of the Nakba. But it is also a history that is rarely included in mainstream media in the United States, where leaders have long treated political and

financial support for Israel as “sacrosanct.” Because of this, the film’s presence on Netflix is “a dramatic achievement,” said Ilan Pappé, an Israeli historian and

author of “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine.”