British historic responsibility in Palestine

Britain in Palestine 1917-1948 (2015, 18 mins) Balfour Project 

Recognising Britain’s historic role in the development of the Israel/Palestine conflict, this film outlines British policy in Palestine and the consequences. 

Promises and Betrayals Britain and the Struggle for the Holy Land (2002, 52 mins) IMDb

Uncovering shocking foreign office communications and using fascinating footage never seen on television before, this documentary shows how British double-dealing during the First World War ignited the conflict between Arabs and Jews in the Middle East.

The Land Speaks Arabic (2014, 101 mins) Maryse Gargour 

Focus on the 19th century birth of Zionism and its repercussions for Palestinians. Through archival documents and footage, testimonies of witnesses, and interviews with historians, the film illustrates that the expulsion of the indigenous Arab population from Palestine was far from an accidental result of the 1948 war. 

100 Years After Balfour (2017, 24 mins) Independent Jewish Voices

Introduced by journalist Jon Snow and including contributions from leading Jewish academics, commentators and activists, this documentary links the decisions of the British government in 1917 to the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, its fifty-year occupation of the West Bank, and today’s political gridlock.

The Nakba

Al Nakba: The Palestinian Catastrophe 1948 (1997, 60 mins) Benny Brunner and Alexandra Jansse. 

The first documentary to examine the displacement of 750,000 Palestinians that accompanied the birth of the state of Israel in 1948.

Frontiers of Dreams and Fears (2001, 55 mins) Mai Masri

This documentary sheds light on the experiences of, and friendship between, two Palestinian girls growing up in refugee camps in Shatila (Beirut) and Dheisa (Bethlehem) at the end of the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon and the beginning of the second Palestinian intifada.

Jaffa, the Orange’s Clockwork (2009, 88 mins) Eyal Sivan

Jaffa, the Orange’s Clockwork uses the prism of the citrus industry to examine the history of Jaffa in historic Palestine, Palestinian expulsion and land appropriation in 1948, and the Zionist economic, agricultural, cultural and discursive project to appropriate citrus production and make it a symbol of the nascent Israeli state.

The Occupation

Broken: A Palestinian Journey Through International Law (2018, 52 mins) Mohammad Alatar

In 2014 the International Court of Justice deemed Israel’s 700 km wall illegal, yet construction continued towards completion. Frank testimonies by legal experts, ICJ judges, diplomats and Israeli military officers expose the failure of the international community to enforce international law.

Budrus (2009, 82 mins) Julia Bacha

Budrus documents the evolution of a nonviolent resistance movement led by a father and daughter as Israel’s ‘Separation Wall’ threatens to destroy their village in the West Bank. The film highlights women’s activism and solidarity between Palestinians, international activists, opposing political factions, Israelis and men and women.

Five Broken Cameras (2011, 90 mins) Emat Burnat, Guy Davidi)

During the making of this Oscar-nominated film, the Israeli military destroyed five of Emad Burnat’s cameras as he documented nonviolent resistance in his village of Bil’in. While originally bought to record family and community life in 2005, his camera is soon redirected to document violence, land appropriation, protests and the path to secure a legal victory for the village.

From Balfour to Banksy (2020, 80 mins) Martin Buckley  

The film explores a range of views from occupied Palestine today, ranging from anger to attempts at envisioning a future, in answer to the questions: how do Palestinians live, behind the ‘security wall’? And what change must come? It also shows the vision of the contemporary artist Banksy, whose hotel in Bethlehem serves as a satirical art installation. 

Gaza (2019, 92 mins) Garry Keane, Andrew McConnell

A beautifully shot and humanising portrait of Gaza’s population in what has been described as an ‘open air prison.’ The documentary centres on the joys and challenges of daily life amidst a crushing economic embargo, food, electricity and fishing restrictions, cramped living conditions, arbitrary collective punishment, and wounded young men.

Ghost Hunting (2017, 94 mins) Raed Andoni

Palestinian prisoners of Israel explore the trauma of their incarceration in Al Moskobiya prison in Jerusalem through memory work and collective discussion. 

Israel vs Israel (2010, 58 mins) Terje Carlsson. 

The film follows four Israelis trying to put an end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories – one grandmother, one rabbi, one anarchist and one ex-soldier.

Jenin Jenin (2002, 54 mins) Mohammed Bakri

Shot in the aftermath of Israel’s 2002 military siege and invasion of Jenin refugee camp in which at least 52 Palestinians were killed, and vast areas of the camp were destroyed, this documentary gathers the testimonies of those who experienced the siege. 

Open Bethlehem (2014, 90 mins) Leila Sansour

This documentary traces director Leila Sansour’s shifting relationship to her hometown and her ambitious mission to save Bethlehem from the encroaching ‘separation wall,’ military restrictions and settlements. Over five years we follow her campaign to build a coalition of local and international organisations and individuals to ‘open’ Bethlehem to Palestinians, international visitors and investment.

Roadmap to Apartheid (2012, 95 mins) Ana Nogueira and Eron Davidson 

Weaving the history of apartheid into the complex issues facing Israelis and Palestinians, this film highlights the similar laws and tools used by Israel and apartheid-era South Africa.

Route 181, Fragments of a Journey in Palestine-Israel (2003, 272 mins) Michel Kleifi, Eyal Sivan

Route 181 sees acclaimed Palestinian film-maker Michel Kleifi and Israeli film-maker Eyal Sivan travel the length of the 1947 partition border outlined in UN Resolution 181 to speak to women and men living and working along this frontier.

The Price of Oslo (2013, 47 mins) Al Jazeera

Analysis of the Oslo Accords and failure of the Peace Process.

The Tinderbox (2020, 92 mins) Gillian Moseley

Gillian Mosely exposes how, when, and why the conflict began through her journey around Israel and the West Bank and interviews with Israelis and Palestinians.

Tomorrow’s Freedom (2022, 98)
Georgia and Sophia Scott

Tomorrow’s Freedom shines a light on the incarceration of Palestininan political prisoners prosecuted by Israeli military courts and the attempts of the Israeli state to crush popular Palestinian political leadership. It follows the family of Marwan Barghouthi, political leader and Nobel Peace Prize nominee currently serving five life sentences in Israeli prisons, as he leads a mass hunger strike among prisoners due to harsh prison conditions.


Farha (2021, 91 mins) Darin J. Sallam

Historical drama based on real life events of a fourteen-year-old girl who witnessed and survived the Nakba in 1948.

In Vitro Larissa Sansour (2019, 27 mins)

Set in a bunker underneath Bethlehem following an ecological disaster, this film tackles generational trauma, exile and memory as a group of scientists and clones prepare to return to replant the soil above with heirloom seeds collected just before the disaster. This film was commissioned by the Danish Arts Foundation for the 2019 Venice Biennale.

The Present (2020, 24 mins) Farah Nabulsi

A father and daughter navigate numerous checkpoints and military intimidation and violence as they attempt to make a shopping trip to buy an anniversary gift for her mother.

The Time That Remains (2009, mins) Elia Suleiman

Semi-biographical historical drama which traces the history of Palestine from 1948 until the present day.

Wedding in Galilee (1987, mins) Michel Khleifi

The first feature film about Palestinians by a Palestinian, Wedding in Galilee is set in the aftermath of the Nakba in 1948 and follows community negotiations with the Israeli military governor over the planning of a wedding in their Galilean village.

When I Saw You (2012, Annemarie Jacir)

Set in Jordan in 1967, this film follows a mother and son as they adjust to life in exile, and amongst resistance fighters, after tens of thousands of Palestinians were made refugees during the 1967 war. 

3000 nights (2015, 103 mins) Mai Masri

A study of motherhood, incarceration and resistance under the occupation. 

Further viewing

20 Must-See Documentaries and Films about Palestine, Savoir Flair

Netflix Launches ‘Palestinian Stories’ Collection with Award-Winning Films

Palestine Remix: Al Jazeera-produced films which explore Palestinian cities past and present, Israeli prisons, and resistance movements challenging the occupation today.

Just Vision: Award winning films telling stories of Palestinians and Israelis working for a just, free and equal future

Jewish Voice for Peace Free Film Library: catalogue of 70+ films
Reference to any specific resource or materials does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by the Balfour Project.