Sulafah Jad Allah

سلافة جاد الله

Biography

Sulafah Jad Allah (1941) studied film at the Cairo Film Institute in the early 1960s. She was hired by the Fatah movement to create portraits of fedayeen (guerrilla fighters) before they embarked on missions from Gaza to occupied Palestine. To that end, she established a photography unit in Amman, Jordan. Her first photographs have disappeared and no copy survives.

In 1968, Sulafah Jad Allah created a group for Palestinian cinema, the Palestinian Film Unit (PFU), along with Hani Jawharyieh, Mustafa Abu Ali and Khadijeh Habashneh. This group worked for Fatah from a small apartment in Amman. Like her PFU colleagues, Sulafah worked for Jordanian television and used the station’s video equipment to capture current Palestinian events. After the Battle of Karameh in 1968, which was a turning point for the PFU, Fatah leaders agreed to buy a 16mm camera for the young filmmakers to film current events so the images could be used for the Palestinian Revolution. In addition to creating a Palestinian archive of cinematographic images, the group aimed to build a movement to have footage available for future films and create a revolutionary praxis, preserving its values and ideology for future generations through cinema.

Led by Sulafah Jad Allah, who had already participated in meetings of young filmmakers in Cairo, the PFU supported the manifesto of the New Cinema Group that appeared in Cairo in 1968. At that time, Egyptian filmmaker Nabilah Lutfi, who was part of the group of Cairene filmmakers, joined the PFU and became a leading filmmaker within the PLO.

In 1969, Sulafah Jad Allah created the documentary The Palestinian Right, which was funded by the Jordanian Ministry of Information and intended to influence Jordanian public opinion. The film was censored and was never shown on Jordanian television. In 1969, she made the documentary No to the Peaceful Solution.

Sulafah Jad Allah was born in Nablus. In 1969, she was shot in the head while filming with the fedayeen. Paralysed, she stopped working in film. She died in 2002.

Filmography

—The Palestinain Right, documentary, 1969
—No … to the Peaceful Solution, 1969

For further information

—Article: Remembering My Friend, Hani Jawhariyyeh

—Article: Palestinian Revolution Cinema per Khadijeh Habshneh

—Ellos no existen por Annemarie Jacir.

—Palestinian Cinema in the Days of Revolution of Nadia Yaqub, University of Texas Press, 2018.

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