Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Netflix to air Jordanian film in which Israeli soldiers murder Palestinian family

The narrative film ‘Farha,’ Jordan’s Oscar submission, depicts soldiers in 1948 killing an entire family, and advertising for it says it is based on true events

This article originally appeared on Haaretz, and was reprinted here with permission. Sign up here to get Haaretz’s free Daily Brief newsletter delivered to your inbox.

A Jordanian film that shows Israeli soldiers murdering a Palestinian family during the War of Independence will be available on Netflix as of Thursday.

“Farha,” directed by Darin J. Sallam, takes place in 1948. The plot is about a Palestinian girl whose father locks her in a dark storage room to protect her during the Israel Defense Forces’ assault on her village. It includes a scene in which the Israeli soldiers execute her entire family, including a baby. The film’s trailer and advertisements say it was inspired by real events.

Netflix Israel said it was looking into the matter.

The film has been shown at several international festivals, including the high-profile Toronto Film Festival, where it had its first screening in 2021.

Speaking at a different festival, the director said that when she was a child, she heard this story about a Palestinian girl being locked in a room by her father to protect both her life and “family honor.”

The girl survived and moved to Syria, said Sallam, where she shared her story with a Syrian girl. The Syrian girl then grew up, married and shared the story with her daughter – Sallam herself.

Since then, Sallam continued, she has never stopped thinking about that girl and what happened to her.

Jordan nominated the film as its candidate for the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film.

Sallam said she also made the film because while many movies are made about the Palestinians, she felt there was nothing about the root cause of what is happening today, that being the events of 1948.

The catastrophe of the Nakba, as Palestinians call the flight and expulsion of hundreds of thousands during the war, is an important event that’s widely ignored, she continued, and there is a dearth of Arab feature films about it.

While there are documentaries about the Nakba, there are no narrative films, she said, adding that stories are what generate and convey emotion.

In another interview, at a film festival in Saudi Arabia, Sallam discussed the seeming similarity between the protagonist of her film and Anne Frank. She said several people had drawn that analogy, and while she hadn’t thought of it when she made the film, she could understand why others did, because her protagonist goes through a similar trial.

Engage

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.