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Michel Khleifi, 2009
Palestine/UK/Belgium/UAE | 85 minutes
One of the founders of Palestinian cinema, Michel Khleifi was at last able to return to fiction feature filmmaking (after an absence of 14 years) with this bold, revealing look at the different meanings of the naqba (the “disaster” of the 1948 founding of Israel) for succeeding generations of Palestinians. M (played by Mohammed Bakri) is a filmmaker long ago settled in Europe. He returns to his native Nazareth ostensibly to film survivors of the 1948 war and expulsion, but the testimony he captures exists as fragments, shards of personal experiences that refuse to coalesce into a coherent narrative. Moreover, the trip home brings up long buried family issues, especially M’s relation to his parents, who chose to stay in Nazareth rather than flee. A fascinating look at how Palestinians relate to each other, Zindeeq is a thoughtful, challenging work.