Today we watched a French produced Arabic movie called Bab El Shams (La Porte du Soleil, The Gate of the Sun). It’s based on the novel by Elias Khoury and directed by Yousry Nasrallah.
The movie tells a number of people’s intertwined stories, and through their stories tells the story of Palestine and the Palestinian people.
The whole story is told pretty objectively and touches on all sides.
It starts when Palestine was under British colonization, when the whole Zionist-state idea started coming into place, and shows how the Palestinian people suffered and were thrown out of their homes and lands under the pretense that Israel was securing its borders (which reminds us of the apartheid wall today).
The movie goes on to show how Arabs didn’t do enough to help Palestinians and that many armies were just sitting around doing nothing while Palestinians were being killed and driven out of their lands, just because they didn’t have any orders from their leaders.
It then follows the journey of Palestinians and how they were thrown in different countries where they were never accepted and were hated. It talks of how some of these Arab countries totally supported the Palestinian cause but hated Palestinians.
It also shows how Palestinians then found themselves having to work for Israelis on their own lands to survive.
The movie isn’t a political one though, it’s a bunch of life stories, through which history is told, but it talks about so much more, it talks about love, hope, traditions, values, women and so much more.
It’s not a movie against Jews, just like one of the characters in the movie says: “Palestinians are not anti-semitic”. In fact it shows how they were better educated, more organized and civilized in their camps.
The movie is very well done; Technically marvelous, great directing, wonderful photography, really nice soundtrack and wonderful acting by the whole cast.
It must be one of the best Arabic movies ever made, and I totally recommend watching it.
My score for it: 8.5/10.