The Present or The Gift is the first short fiction film by Anglo-Palestinian director Farah Nabulsi, who has just been nominated for the Oscars and the British Bafta (British Academy of Film and Television Arts). Lasting 24 minutes, this film presents through a small daily event the painful life of the Palestinian people. Daughter of Palestinians who were lucky enough to settle in Britain in the 1970s – unlike the millions of people who remain stateless in refugee camps – Farah Nabulsi was educated in London. She began her career as an institutional equity broker and obtained the title of corporate finance advisory (CFA) at JP Morgan Chase, before creating a child-focused institution which she led for 10 years.
A staunch defender of human rights, it was not until 2015 that she began to focus on and work in the film industry. A new language that she adopts to defend her oppressed people. It is therefore through the production company that she founded that the filmmaker writes, produces and directs fiction films, exploring subjects dear to her heart.
The eyes of childhood
In The Present, Farah Nabulsi recounts a fact that may be diverse and trivial to everyone, but which, in occupied Palestine, takes on a dramatic scale. In 24 minutes, the filmmaker paints a portrait of a people who are robbed of their dignity and freedom of movement every day. A people who live daily under the yoke of the oppressor but also of humiliation.
On the occasion of their wedding anniversary, a father, masterfully played by Saleh Bakri, promises his wife to give him a refrigerator. It is therefore in the company of his daughter that he goes to the West Bank to buy the hoped-for gift. This is without counting the pitfalls, the cut roads, the mockery of the soldiers at the roadblocks which transform this outing into a long crossing strewn with humiliations that this father must undergo while remaining silent and lowering his head in front of his daughter. In the eyes of the little girl can be read the love she has for her father and the pain of seeing him bow down in this way. This “Golgotha” is experienced a hundred times by Palestinians who have to cross the borders erected on their own soil every day.
Brilliantly treated in 24 minutes, all in modesty but with a very strong emotional charge, this subject certainly has a universal resonance. But its main goal is to let the whole world know that a people, very far from them, live a way of the cross every day, whose dramas are only relayed by indifferent, almost dehumanized media. Only the strength of cinema, on which Farah Nabulsi and other filmmakers can count, can finally unveil the truth and illuminate a reality that the so-called developed countries, sealed off in their comfortable “civilization”, often tend to forget.
The Present or The Gift is the first short fiction film by Anglo-Palestinian director Farah Nabulsi, who has just been nominated for the Oscars and the British Bafta (British Academy of Film and Television Arts). Lasting 24 minutes, this film presents through a small daily event the painful life of the Palestinian people. Palestinian girl …
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Farah Nabulsi and the Golgotha of the Palestinian people