The archival war film is scratchy, and shows streets engulfed. London under occupation.
After this opening to Palestine Lost, in a dramatised part of the documentary that will be set sixty years later, London is still occupied. A wall has been constructed, cutting though the city, separating East London from West. It intimidates, humiliates.
This part of the film will explore how the wall – and a constant military presence – affects the lives of people in London, and in particular, one family. The effects can be vast. Advanced VFX are utilised to show the life-altering wall on the London landscape.
These images speak strongly of another place. Not in the West, but on the West Bank – Ramallah, Palestine. The city with a wall that needs no special effects to be seen. Israel began building it here some twenty years ago. The construction continues.
Nasir, born to an American mother and Palestinian father, takes sensibilities formed from two cultures – and a desire to achieve understanding instead of assigning blame – to explore how a dividing wall clarifies what the occupied, anywhere, have in common.
The director travels to the place he and his family know too well, interviewing those in Ramallah for whom a wall is a way of life. Nasir also goes to Jordan to speak to people and families who have been displaced. Thousands upon thousands became refugees.
Ismael Musalam is a Palestinian refugee in Jordan. He points past the wall in his memory: “There are your people, your family. But you can’t say hello to them.” In Ramallah, the wall split loved ones. Jobs became scarce. Decent health care disappeared. Good schools remote. Basic human rights held captive.
In Palestine Lost, a matrix of real people and actors illustrate that we are all essentially defined by humanity, by home and by hope.
Whether in Palestine… or London.
No matter who, no matter where.