Jenin, Jenin film screening & conversation hosted by Milwaukee4Palestine

Wed 12/06/23
All Ages

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Beta Feature: Screenshot Flyers

1:1 Square 9:16 Portrait

“The film is a collection of interviews with residents of Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank following an Israeli military invasion in April 2002 that lasted almost two weeks.

The Israeli military killed at least 52 Palestinians and injured scores of others, according to a report compiled by the United Nations secretary-general at the time.

Israeli forces also shelled 150 buildings, leaving 450 families homeless. According to the report, 23 Israeli soldiers were dead by the end of the operation.

“It was not just the numbers involved that shocked the world at the time, but the brutal nature of an Israeli assault that was unprecedented even in the harsh history of the occupation,” Israeli historian Ilan Pappé wrote in The Electronic Intifada in 2017.

Bakri said he snuck into the camp on foot through the mountains about 10 days after the invasion to witness what Israel had done and speak to camp residents.

“I couldn’t move. I couldn’t breathe,” Bakri told his son Adam Bakri in an interview on Sunday about his emotional reaction after he first arrived in the camp.

“I couldn’t hold my body, I mean, when I saw these things around me and I smelled that smell of death.”

Little in the camp was left unscathed.

“Their bombs came down on us like water,” a young Palestinian girl tells Bakri in the film.

“I saw dead bodies, houses in ruins and undescribable atrocities. After all I’ve been through, what will become of my life?”

The girl, who Bakri identified as Najwa in later interviews, gained notoriety for her remarkable courage and became an iconic face of the film.

The documentary-style film combines rapid-fire shots in between interviews with dramatic sound transitions for aesthetic effect. It is genre-bending. It has no voice over and it doesn’t identify anyone. Bakri, who is often shown walking away from the camera, is sometimes heard, but he never turns around.

The film does not pretend to do more than bear witness.” —