Filmmakers Farah Nabulsi and Darin J. Sallam recently joined the Muslim Girl Code podcast to discuss the impact of ongoing violence in Gaza on the Palestinian creative community. They talked about the challenges they face in telling their stories, concerns over censorship in Hollywood, and the potential for film to preserve Palestinian history. Nabulsi, a British-Palestinian filmmaker, highlighted the difficulties of independent cinema in a male-dominated industry, while Sallam, a Jordanian-Palestinian filmmaker, faced struggles due to the content of her film “Farha,” which focuses on the Nakba of 1948.

Both filmmakers mentioned facing online harassment when their films were initially released. Sallam experienced targeted attacks before the release of “Farha” on Netflix, while Nabulsi’s film “The Present” received negative reviews overnight on IMDb. They also discussed how the ongoing violence in Gaza has personally and professionally affected them, as well as their concerns over censorship in Hollywood when creatives speak up for a ceasefire. Nabulsi expressed grief over the crisis in Palestine and the dilemma of focusing on her work amidst the humanitarian crisis.

Cinema was emphasized as an important medium for educating and creating awareness about the Palestinian narrative. Sallam highlighted the power of film in preserving history and culture, as well as resisting oppression. Both filmmakers stressed the importance of telling Palestinian stories on screen and the need for the film industry to support these narratives. They hope for a future where Palestinian films can include more hopeful themes and stories that contribute to healing.

Looking ahead, Nabulsi hopes for an end to oppression and injustice in Palestine, leading to liberation. Both Nabulsi and Sallam urge artists to be courageous and support causes that uphold humanity, justice, and basic human rights. They emphasize that the Palestinian cause is not just political but is also a humane cause that deserves support. The conversation with Nabulsi and Sallam on the Muslim Girl Code podcast sheds light on the challenges and importance of Palestinian storytelling in a time of conflict and censorship in the film industry.

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