The documentary tells the story of what occurs when ordinary people get caught up in the extraordinary circumstances of war and the vain search for peace.
This real-life drama is seen in the eyes and heard in the voices of two generations of director Tariq Nasir’s Palestinian family. With astonishing memories of sounds, smells, faces and brute force, Nasir’s loved ones convey not bitterness or blame, but scenes and sensations of displacement and loss, truths and untruths, cruelties and courage.
Remarkably, the Nasir family has twice lost a home to war – the second time during the Six-Day War of 1967. The director’s father, Dr. Sari Nasir, was forced to flee in a turning point so similar to his father’s… and with a pregnant wife and three children. They became refugees, with little left but what they wore.
The documentary is a story of longing… and belonging. Intimate interviews, an emotive violin score, and bracing use of rarely seen archival material from the Middle East have brought the documentary acclaim for its storytelling – revealing a geopolitical tale through the lens of everyday experience and recollection.
"Belonging is one of the most tender, thoughtful, informative movies about the Palestinian story ever made. Any citizens who have opinions about the region should watch it. The entire American government would do well to watch, and consider it. It is not only the story of one family; it is also the story of a vast number of Palestinian citizens dispersed into the universe, and homesick for their homeland, and for justice forever."
"Tariq Nasir has captured the Palestinian experience of belonging and dispossession with elegant simplicity. The acute sense of loss is captured in those memories that even after sixty years bring tears to the narrators. Yet these Palestinian narratives devoid of hate for the Israelis who dispossessed them give reason for hope. Gently filmed and artfully edited to intersperse historic footage with contemporary interviews, Nasir's film is a masterpiece."
"Tariq Nasir has achieved what few narratives of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict ever do. He has told a story that humanizes the Palestinians without romanticizing them, and he has filmed a tale of Israeli occupation and its impact without demonizing Zionists or Israelis. In creating this much-needed middle space he provides a narrative that invites reasoned and empathetic discussion. I speak not only in abstract terms but from experience: my students love this film."