September 20, 2013|Alternet|Jordan Elgrably
Every now and then a little sunshine breaks through, and Palestinians enjoy the light. Thanks to occasional complex portrayals in film, television and documentary reporting, they become real people with a cause we can all relate to, seeking justice and freedom.
That was true of the Palestinian characters in Steven Spielberg's Munich (2005), who weren't cardboard villains, but human beings. It was even more apparent the same year in Hany Abu-Assad's Paradise Now, which was the first Palestinian film to land an Oscar nomination and win a Golden Globe. In Paradise Now, we empathized with West Bank youth and understood what could drive them to consider becoming human bombs. In 2009, Cherien Dabis brought the Palestinian struggle to America with her film Amreeka, about a single mother from Ramallah, who gets her teenage son out so he'll have a future.
Who has time to read during a revolution? Certainly nobody at Tahrir Square and nobody picking up the pieces in Tunisia or busy in Libya, or in Yemen trying to evaluate government statements of long-term support versus immediate need. I'd say we're the ones with time to read and maybe we should. This may be the best time ever to pull out writers both classic and new who address Middle Eastern history. We can peruse the messages they've left the people that we see rebounding now in terms of revolutionary change.