Al Nakba takes the most contested and misunderstood moment of Israeli-Palestinian history and makes it come alive with intellectual clarity and emotional impact.
Based on the book The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947–1949 by Benny Morris, it is the first documentary film to examine the displacement of 750,000 Palestinians during the birth of the state of Israel. The film shifts between interviews with Palestinian refugees and the reactions of Irgun and Haganah soldiers who witnessed and participated in the events of 1948.
Dramatic location shooting is combined with riveting testimony of Arab and Israeli eyewitnesses, Palestinian poetry and detailed accounts of the evacuation and expulsion from Haifa, Jaffa, and Lyda. Through multiple voices, we learn that Palestinians fled ’en masse,’ that many were rounded up and forcibly expelled by the emergent Israeli army, and still others died at the hands of Israeli soldiers. Filmmakers Brunner and Jansse bring authority and sensitivity to a subject too long in the domain of propagandists on both side of the divide.
Produced by Benny Brunner Directed by Benny Brunner & Alexandra Jansse, Photography: Ram Lee-Tal Editor: Joseph Rochlitz Israel / Netherlands, 58minutes Production in Cooperation with ARTE in 1997 • Broadcast: Europe. Screened at the cinematheques of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in 1998. • Festivals: 1998 SF JFF; 1999 Köln Film Festival; 2001 One World International Film Festival in Prague; Vienna Jewish Film Week, 2004.