Unpacking the ArteArchive

ARCHIVES OF POWER: The Palestinian Film Archive and the Erasure of History

Expired March 18, 2024 3:59 AM
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6 films in package
OFF FRAME (AKA Revolution Until Victory)
A unique historical portrait of the Palestinian people's struggle to produce their own image. Using material long hidden in archives across the globe, the film reaches back through the modern history of Palestine and reverses decades of colonial dominance with a mosaic of struggle from the perspective of the colonized.
Kings and Extras: Digging for a Palestinian Image
The films in the PLO Media Unit were supposed to show a self-determined image of Palestinian reality – and they went missing during the Israeli invasion of Beirut in 1982. In a « road movie » from Palestine to Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, director Azza El-Hassan follows the contradicting and confusing clues as to the whereabouts of the lost archive.
Palestine in the Eye
Palestine in the Eye chronicles the profound impact of Hani Jawharieh’s death for the PLO Film Unit. The film reflects on his life through interviews with family, colleagues, and his own cinematography, including the moment of his death while filming for the Unit in 1976.
The Upper Gate
The Upper Gate was about Sidon (The capital of the south of Lebanon), the filmmaker Arab Loutfi’s home town; in which she wove a history of the city through the stories of its people. In her film she tries after the 1982 Israeli invasion, which caused so much damage and chaos, to reconstruct her own memories of the place offering accounts of herself, her sister Maha, her uncle and her friends, interspersing them with newspaper clips and personal photographs to illustrate her preoccupations and concerns in relation to Sidon at different times.
The Road to Palestine
In Layaly Badr’s documentary short, Road to Palestine, seven-year-old Layla – who has been badly injured in an air raid – lives in a refugee camp outside Palestine. Layla and her friends describe how they imagine Palestine, despite never having seen it.
Jerusalem, Flower of All Cities
Set to the famous song by Fairouz, Flower of All Cities, a harmonious picture of Palestinian civil life in Jerusalem is disturbed by the Israeli army’s occupation of the city following the 1967 war. A rare example of the work of Hani Jawharieh, one of founding fathers of Palestinian cinema.

Archives, often perceived as impartial guardians of history, are actually deeply entwined with political agendas. In the context of the Palestinian struggle, archives have been systematically pillaged and obliterated by the Israeli state and military, resulting in the loss of invaluable records of Palestinian history and resistance. Among the missing archives are decades of footage by the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Palestine Film Unit (PFU). This collective of militant filmmakers emerged in the late 1960s, utilizing the camera as a tool of resistance to document the Palestinian experience and the struggle for liberation.


The film program features documentaries about the Palestinian film archive and filmic legacy – Azza El-Hassan’s KINGS AND EXTRAS: DIGGING FOR A PALESTINIAN IMAGE (2004), Mohanad Yaqubi’s OFF FRAME (aka REVOLUTION UNTIL VICTORY) (2016)– as well as a selection of earlier films created during the revolutionary Palestinian film era, which have recently been restored as part of El-Hassan’s invaluable initiative, The Void Project, which was founded in 2018 to explore the presence and absence of the Palestinian visual archives as a discourse in narrative formation, and to restore and distribute some of the surviving films of the era. 


ARCHIVES OF POWER ultimately strives to amplify the voices and stories that have been marginalized and suppressed, reclaiming agency and autonomy in defiance of ongoing attempts to erase Palestinian history and visual narrative. This program serves as an indispensable platform for comprehending and challenging the mechanisms of oppression and resistance within the domain of archival representation.

Off Frame AKA Revolution Until Victory (2016)

OFF FRAME (AKA Revolution Until Victory) is a meditation on the Palestinian people’s struggle to produce an image and self-representation on their own terms in the 1960s and 1970s, with the establishment of the Palestine Film Unit as part of the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization). Unearthing films stored in archives across the world after an unprecedented research and access, the film begins with popular representations of modern Palestine and traces the works of militant filmmakers in reclaiming image and narrative through revolutionary and militant cinema. In resurrecting a forgotten memory of struggle, Off Frame reanimates what is within the frame, but also weaves a critical reflection by looking for what is outside it, or what is off-frame.

Mohanad Yaqubi is a filmmaker, producer, and one of the founders of the Ramallah-based production house, Idioms Film. Yaqubi is one of the founders of the research and curatorial collective Subversive Films that focuses on militant film practices, also, a founding member of the Palestine Film Institute, that focus on supporting, promoting, and preserving Palestinian cinema, he is a resident researcher at The School of the Art (KASK) in Gent, Belgium since 2017. Yaqubi’s first feature film Off Frame AKA Revolution Until Victory (2016) made its premiere at TIFF, Berlinale, Cinéma du réel, Dubai IFF, and Yamagata among fifty other premiers and screenings around the world.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    62 minutes
  • Country
  • Director
    Mohanad Yaqubi
  • Producer
    Mohanad Yaqubi, Sami Said