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Film Studies: National Cinemas

This guide highlights selected resources for various national cinemas.


This guide highlights library resources for Palestinian film. The guide also incorporates resources originally on William Fontaine's guide for Palestinian film. There were duplications between my guide and his. However, he did highlight film titles, directors and formats in his guide. Thanks to Bill!

The Holy Land was a popular subject for early cinema travelogues and actualities, and the consolidation of the region under British colonial control from 1922 was facilitated by British documentary filmmakers; documentary was also a preferred form for Jewish settlers (see israel, film in). Local film production can be traced back to Palestinian filmmaker Ibrahim Hassan Firhan, who filmed the 1935 visit to Jerusalem of the Prince of Saud, and the first Palestinian feature film is usually claimed to be Holiday Eve (1945), directed by Ahmed Hilmi al-Kilani. Imports from Egypt were popular in the first half of the 20th century, but cinemagoing was not as widespread as in other Arab countries. The 1948 Arab-Israeli war and the experience of Naqba (a term meaning ‘disaster’ that Palestinians use to refer to their exile from their homeland) severely retarded film production, leading to a twenty-year ‘epoch of silence’ during which time no Palestinian films were produced.

Kuhn, A., & Westwell, G. (2020). Palestine, film in. In A Dictionary of Film Studies. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 24 May. 2021

Searching the online catalog

You can use the subject heading below to find resources in the online catalog. The call number range is also included.

Introductory reading(s)

Selected book title(s)

Other library resource(s)

Finding journal articles

Our collection does not have journals that cover Palestinian cinema exclusively. You can use Film & Television Literature Index to find articles or use the search box at the top of the page.

Palestinian films in our collections

See this list of Palestinian films.

Internet resource(s)

There are Palestine Film Festivals in major cities across the country. Just do a Google search and you will find one nearest you.