British-Palestinian filmmaker Farah Nabulsi’s has won the BAFTA award for the best short film. ‘The Present’ is about a Palestinian father and his daughter going to buy a wedding anniversary gift for his wife in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
It’s a gritty insight into life under occupation that shows the day to day experience of Palestinians being kettled into cages in order to pass through Israeli check points while Israeli’s are allowed to simply drive through unhindered. The sheer volume of men, women and children passing through at times can and has resulted in people being crushed to death and pregnant women suffering miscarriages.
The Present however also reveals another aspect of the reality that many Palestinians have to face while going through Israeli check points – the daily humiliation and abuses meted out by unaccountable armed Israeli soldiers who behave like SS guards with power to incarcerate on a whim and even with power over life and death.
Netflix is currently streaming ‘The Present’. It’s a little over 24min long but well worth a watch if you’re curious about what Israeli apartheid looks like for Palestinians. Given that the mainstream news media have barely given it any coverage, I would also encourage our readers to share the link and invite others to watch the film as well. Perhaps, in our own way, we can help to ensure talented film makers who are prepared to produce unique stories like this can continue to get the credit, visibility and the funding they deserve.
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