Close on the heels of Pakistan’s JOYLAND comes this astounding film from Jordan – FARHA (2021), dealing with the coming-of-age story of a 14-year-old Palestinian girl left on her own at her village house in the face of Jewish occupation in 1948, an event that has come to be known as Nakba which involved the permanent displacement of Palestinian Arabs from their homeland. The butchery that accompanied the occupation is telescoped into a single massacre of a Palestinian family seen from the POV of the young girl in hiding, and constitutes a set piece that is as brutal as it is cinematic. The entire segment that involves the girl’s hiding over several days while war rages outside is a sheer tour-de-force that offers valuable lessons on the use of limited space and time transitions. Inspired by true events faced by a survivor, FARHA (Jordan, 2021) by Darin J. Sallam is a compelling account of a disturbing phase of ongoing history.
You may need to dig it out of the deluge of films streaming on NETFLIX, but this is a must-watch.
Ranjan Das is a Mumbai based filmmaker & faculty.