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Israelis outraged over Netflix film showing IDF murdering Palestinians

Israeli actress Nataly Dadon canceled her Netflix subscription, protesting against the streaming giant adding the anti-Israeli/anti-IDF film "Farha" to the platform.
In this illustration photo, the Netflix logo is seen on a TV remote in Los Angeles, July 19, 2022.

The Jordanian film "Farha," by director Darin J. Sallam, was made available Dec. 1 on Netflix, and has already caused an uproar in Israel for a scene in which Israeli soldiers are depicted murdering a Palestinian family during the 1948 war. The scene has led to a social media protest in which many Israelis have called for a boycott of the streaming giant and attacked its decision to broadcast the film on its platform. Many have expressed their protest by canceling their Netflix subscriptions. 

Among the leaders of the protest is actress and model Nataly Dadon, who posted on her Instagram account, which has 800,000 followers, “The reason for canceling my subscription: values come before entertainment. Netflix adds a movie called 'Farha' whose sole aim is to increase antisemitism. It’s not the only anti-Israel show that gets a platform on Netflix. There’s something very cynical and hurtful when there’s a movie featured whose goal is to present us as a cruel and merciless people.” 

"Farha," which was chosen in September to represent Jordan at the 95th Academy Awards to compete in the Best International Feature Film category, reached movie screens in 2021 and has been shown at several film festivals around the world, including the Toronto Film Festival and the Red Sea Film Festival. It tells the story of the Nakba through the story of a 14-year-old Palestinian girl named Farha, from one of the Palestinian villages, whose father locks her in the storage unit in order to protect her from soldiers on their way to the village. Through the cracks in the door, Farha witnesses the horrors of war. The movie’s trailer says that it is based on true stories. 

Sallam said in an interview with the Emirati Al Khaleej news site, “The movie presents the Nakba differently. Because it is human, emotional and poetic when it dives into the story of one person in order to tell the stories of human pain, stolen dreams, a childhood that ends too soon and a state of oppression that has taken place in every place and time.” 

The film was screened Nov. 30 at Al-Saraya Theater in Jaffa, which greatly angered the Israeli right, with several people protesting outside during the screening. Outgoing Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman attacked the decision to show it, and announced on Twitter, “I instructed the professional ranks of the Finance Ministry to move to withdraw the budget of Al-Saraya Theater in Jaffa that chose to screen the Jordanian film 'Farha' — a film of incitement that is full of lies about Israeli soldiers.”

Culture and Sport Minister Hili Tropper also responded to the uproar caused by the film, saying, “The decision of a publicly supported theater in Israel to screen a movie that according to all reports contains false accusations of Israel Defense Forces soldiers, and describes a massacre of a family while comparing it to Nazi atrocities during the Holocaust, is especially outrageous. It is shameful that an Israeli theater gives a stage to lies and falsehoods.”   

Despite the uproar in Israel, the movie was still uploaded on the streaming giant. Still, on Dec. 4, Israeli subscribers reported being blocked from watching the film. When searching on Netflix’s search engine, they could not find it. Other Israeli subscribers got the message "this title cannot be viewed in your country."

Reacting to the uproar in Israel, the filmmakers posted that they don’t intend to keep silent. “These attempts to silence our voices as Semite/Arabs and as Women filmmakers to dehumanize us and prevent us from telling our stories, our narrative and our truth are against any freedom of speech.”

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