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Beyond The Frontlines: Tales of Resistance and Resilience in Palestine

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Beyond The Frontlines: Tales of Resistance and Resilience in Palestine
Directed byAlexandra Dols
Produced byAlexandra Dols - Hybrid Pulse
StarringDr. Samah Jabr
Music byBaraka, Belanaïc Roubin
CinematographyAlexandra Dols
Edited byDelphine Piau, Véronique Rosa
Distributed byHybrid Pulse
Release date
November 8, 2017 (french release)
Running time
113 minutes
LanguageFrench, Arabic, English

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Beyond The Frontlines: Tales of Resistance and Resilience in Palestine;.[1], in French Derrière les fronts : résistances et resiliences en Palestine[2] is a 2017 documentary film written and directed by Alexandra Dols. It was awarded the Sunbird Award for Best Documentary Film at the 2017 Palestinian festival Days of Cinema. It was released in French theaters on November 8, 2017[3]. The movie is available in French, Arabic, Spanish, Italian and English version.

The movie embarks us on a journey across Palestine alongside Palestinian psychiatrist Dr. Samah Jabr and discover the resistance and resilience of a people affected by the invisible wounds of war and occupation.


Beyond The Frontlines, takes us on a journey both within our own minds and on the roads of Palestine, led by Palestinian psychiatrist and writer Dr. Samah Jabr. An heiress to anticolonial psychiatrist Dr. Frantz Fanon, she exposes the psychological strategies of the Israeli occupation and their consequences, and the ways in which Palestinians have learned to cope. In this multi-voiced movie, interviews and columns are intertwined together with poetic escapes suggesting the invisible dimension of Palestinian streets and landscapes. From this fragmented Palestine, women and men holding multiple identities share their stories of resistance and resilience. These women and men represent a diversity of identities, religions, sexual orientations, political cultures, social backgrounds and geographical origins. For everyday colonization does not only involve occupying land, homes, the sky or water. It does not seek to impose its rule through weapons only; it molds the minds as well, beyond the frontlines.


The director Ken Loach wrote about the movie: "Dr. Samah Jabr is a wise and thoughtful woman. She reflects on the subtle, devastating effect on the Palestinian people of years of brutal occupation. Alexandra Dols’ film shares her insights with us, generous, humane and deeply disturbing. Please see this film."[4]

The press monitoring organisation Middle East Monitor (MEMO) reviews the movie, saying: "This is an original approach to exploring the complexities of life as a Palestinian. Beyond the Frontlines provides a unique look at the little-discussed effects of Israel’s ongoing occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The combination of candid interviews with beautifully shot cinematography makes the film a must-see for anyone seeking to understand the continued resistance and resilience of the Palestinian people."[5]

According to The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs: "French filmmaker Alexandra Dols’ latest film, “Beyond the Front Lines,” examines the psychological effects on Palestinians of living under Israeli military occupation for half a century. (...) In the end, however, the film is not about victimization, but about sumud, or resilience—which, Jabr points out, one need not be born with but can learn and develop. “Resistance to the occupation does not mean everyone has to fight,” she explains, adding that building and healing are forms of resistance as well."[6]

"We felt that Beyond The Frontlines gave a new approach to discuss the condition of the Palestinianswith a focus on the psychological impact of the occupation. Samah Jabr provides a powerfulstoryteller and the film is excellently documented. We liked the link between the condition of thePalestinians and past colonialism. The film effectively explores the concept of Sumud and makessignificant the use of the images produced by the Palestinians. It is an important and timely film.": George Khleifi, palestinian filmmaker and producer.

Dr. Samah Jabr, main character of the documentary, said about Beyond the Frontlines: "The film is brave because it does not claim to be «balanced» through positioning itself an equal distance from the occupier and the occupied of Palestine. Instead, it sheds light on the Palestinian experience and point of view : experiences and views which are usually silenced, distorted, or vilified by mainstream media. The film does not turn away from people who are labeled «controversial” and thus to be avoided and ignored. This film brings together a diversity of interviewees whose strong voices do not fade into an all-too-common passive submission to power and dominance. The interviewees differ ideologically among themselves yet a reunited in their striving for liberation."[7]

"The film was very well received by the Tunisian public positively "disturbed" by a work mastered artistically and especially politically." Youssef Seddik, tunisian writer, philosopher, anthropologist of Islam.

In France, magazines and newspapers like Télérama[8], Le Monde[9] and L'Humanité[10] also wrote good reviews about the movie.

Pierre Stambul from L'Union Juive Française pour la Paix (french Jewish Voice for Peace) wrote: "Nous avons souvent entendu lors de nos voyages en Palestine les propos suivants : « cette guerre est née de l’extérieur. De la reconnaissance par la communauté internationale d’un État qui viole en permanence le droit international et de l’impunité dont il jouit. Une solution juste viendra de pressions venues de l’extérieur et des capacités de résistance et de résilience des Palestinien-ne-s. » C’est cela que traite le documentaire d’Alexandra Dols : informer et analyser les mécanismes qui permettent au peuple palestinien de rester debout."

Around the movie[edit]

An eponymous book came out after the movie. Published in France, it includes the many chronicles of Dr. Samah Jabr. This book has been the subject of a review in Le Monde Diplomatique[11]. The chronicles of Dr. Samah Jabr are also available in English on the Middle East Monitor (MEMO) website[12] and The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs website.[13]

Festival selections and award[edit]

2018: Birmingham's international festival of social justice film - Screening Rights Film Festival (Birmingham - ENGLAND)[14] 2018: Festival des Libertés (Bruxelles – BELGIQUE) ; 2018: Chouftouhonna – International festival of feminist art – 4ème édition (Tunis – TUNISIE) ; 2018: XII Festival de Cine de los Derechos Humanos (Valparaiso – CHILI) ; 2018: 14º Festival Internacional de Cine de los Derechos Humanos (Sucre – BOLIVIE) ; 2018: Festival ICE «International Contemporary Ensemble» (Saint Jean du Doigt – FRANCE) ; 2017: «Days of Cinema» (Palestine) Sunbird Award for Best Documentary Film ; 2017: Douarnenez Film Festival (France) - Official selection ; 2017: Stockholm Independent Film Festival (Sweden) - Official selection ; 2017: French Institute in Tunis (Tunisia) - Carte blanche to writer Youssef Seddik ; 2017: Middle East Studies Association FilmFest (Washington, USA) - Private screening for MESA members ; 2017: «Palestine en Vue» (France) - Official selection ; 2017: «Panorama des cinémas du Maghreb et du Moyen-Orient» (France) - Official selection


  1. "Beyond the frontlines : Resistances & resiliences".
  2. "Derrière les fronts, le film".
  3. "Derrière les fronts, résistance et résilience en Palestine (2016)".
  4. "Beyond the frontlines : Resistances & resiliences".
  5. "Beyond the Frontlines: Tales of Resistance and Resilience in Palestine". 2017-12-17.
  6. ""Beyond the Front Lines": The Psychology of Occupation".
  7. "Beyond the frontlines : Resistances & resiliences".
  8. "Derrière les fronts de Alexandra Dols - () - Film - Documentaire".
  9. Regnier, Isabelle (2017-11-08). "" Derrière les fronts… " : Une plongée dans la psyché des Palestiniens". Le Monde.fr.
  10. "Cinéma. Devenir en Palestine le sujet de son histoire". 2017-11-07.
  11. "Derrière les fronts. Chroniques d'une psychiatre psychothérapeute palestinienne sous occupation". October 2018.
  12. "Dr Samah Jabr". 2014-11-27.
  13. "Samah Jabr".
  14. "Screening Rights Film Festival". 2018-10-03.

External links[edit]

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