About Place and Time: The Cinema of Michel Khleifi

Nurith Gertz and George Khleifi

in Palestinian Cinema

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print January 2008 | ISBN: 9780748634071
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671069 | DOI:
About Place and Time: The Cinema of Michel Khleifi

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In the 1980s a shift occurred in Palestinian cinema. This shift, which reflected the increasing importance of land as a symbol of Palestinian identity and nationality, was initially manifested in the works of directors who lived in Israel and could film there – mainly in the films of Michel Khleifi. Even though Khleifi, too, endeavoured to reflect the past in the present and to recreate the lost unity of the national identity and the landscape, the diversity of present existence as expressed in his films locates the old structure next to, and within, a new structure, fracturing the total association of the present with the past and allowing each period its own separate existence. Since it occurs in a concrete, specific place that expresses the numerous national, familial, clan, class, rural, and urban identities in Palestinian society, the varied present-day way of life unfolding in Khleifi's films deconstructs Palestinian society's image of unity and homogeneity, evoked by the idyllic perception of the past. The chapter describes and analyses Michel Khleifi's feature as well as documentary films.

Keywords: Michel Khleifi; Palestinian nationality; national landscape

Chapter.  13962 words. 

Subjects: Film

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