Little Palestine, Diary of a Siege
Yarmouk Camp in Damascus, Syria, was once home to the largest concentration of Palestinian refugees. Abdallah Al-Khatib’s record of its brutal siege is vital viewing.
Mohammad Ali Atassi, Jean-Laurent Csinidis
Lebanon-France-Qatar 2021. 89min
With English subtitles
In 2013, the Assad regime blocked all routes in and out of Yarmouk. Under siege, its inhabitants were deprived of food, water and contact with the outside world. Al-Khatib’s camera takes us through the district’s streets, meeting elders and participating in lively protests; children wise beyond their years tell us where they find meaning and whose dreams all involve food. As food shortages reach alarming levels, the regime’s bombing campaign intensifies. Al-Khatib’s poetic reflections, published at the time in 40 Rules of Siege, underscores the escalating disaster: ‘When the future sticks out its tongue sarcastically / When the most obvious answers to simple questions / Are a rare as a lump of sugar’. An act of witness and solidarity, Al-Khatib’s diary is testament to the dignity of the human spirit.
Contains scenes viewers may find distressing.
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