النوع والثقافة والمقاومة في فلسطين

Azza El-Hassan

عزة الحسن

“I see my work restoring archival films as an act to recover the collective Palestinian narrative. Archival work in a context that erases them takes on a completely different meaning. Restoring these films at this very moment is not just about regaining some historical documents, but to say: we exist”


Azza El-Hassan (1971) has degrees in Cinema and Sociology. She works mainly on documentaries and in recent years has specialised in archival film. She is an artistic consultant for the Creative Interruptions project. In 1996, she made her first documentary on Palestine, Arab Women Speak Out, and decided to remain in Ramallah, where she works as an independent filmmaker. She made several films between 1996 and 2014: Title deeds from Mosesis a documentary on Israeli settlements in Jerusalem; The Place, 3cm Less and Kings and Extras are films that investigate and delve into the search for audiovisual archives that vanished after the invasion of Lebanon in 1982; and The unbearable presence of Asmahan explores memory, identity representations and the cultural imaginary of young Cairenes through the figure of Asmahan, an emblematic Egyptian singer of the 1970s. Her work goes into and attempts to recover the lost and confiscated visual memory of the Palestinian people. Azza El-Hassan wonders how a people or an individual can manage lost and missing things, be they loved ones, movies, memories, houses or land. She wonders what it means for a people not to have an archive, not to have images that prove their existence, that corroborate the facts, even though the Palestinian people have never stopped creating a narrative or writing their own history. Azza El-Hassan has researched and written about the history of Palestinian filmmakers and states that since the 1930s, there were people making films in Palestine, such as the Lama Brothers, who were also founders of Egyptian cinema. She has also participated in restoring two archival films, Jerusalem, Flower of All Cities by the painter Ismael Shammout and Palestine in the Eye by Hani Jawhariyeh. Azza El-Hassan was born in Amman, went into exile with her family in Beirut after Black September (1971) and returned to exile in Amman after the invasion of Beirut (1982). She studied in London and has lived in Palestine since 1996. In 2021, she was working on a new documentary, My Mother & Other Revolutionary Matters, about the life and career of her mother, a PLO militant in the 1970s.


—My Mother & Other Revolutionary Matters, in progress.

—The unbearable presence of Asmahan, 60′, documentary, 2014.

—Kings And Extras, 60′, documentary, 2004

—3cm Less, 60′, documentary, 2003

—Newstime (Zaman al-Akhbar) 54’, Beta SP, documentary, 2001

—The Place (al-Saha) 7′, experimental, 1999

—Out of Place (Kharij al-Makan), documentary, 1999

—Sinbad is a She, documentary, 1999

—Titledeeds from Moses, documentary, 1999

—Arab Women Speak Out, documentary, 1996


Contact: azzaelhassan@mac.com

Website: https://www.azzaelhassanfilms.com/