Visions du Réel Review: Little Palestine (Diary of a Siege)

A resident of Yarmouk

Whilst it seems that there’s been a huge spike in awareness due to the impact the current refugee crisis is having on Europe and America, there have been displaced peoples throughout human history. Since the end of World War II, Africa and the Middle East have been particularly badly hit. This is due to a number of bloody and protracted civil wars and incursions. In the late 1950s, thousands of Palestinians began to make their home in Yarmouk, just to the west of Damascus.

Whilst not officially categorised as a camp, Yarmouk houses the largest Palestinian refugee population in Syria. At the beginning of the century, there were over a hundred thousand souls living there. This number fell dramatically during the Syrian Civil War as it became one of the focal points of the conflict between the Free Syrian Army (and their allies) and pro-government forces. The area was continually besieged by the Syrian army. The impact on the civilian population is documented in Little Palestine (Diary of a Siege)

Using footage captured by director Abdallah Al-Khatib over a period of three years, Little Palestine (Diary of a Siege) is a heart-breaking tale of a community struggling to survive in increasingly difficult circumstances. It’s a story of resistance, but one which increasingly turned to despair and death as the privations intensified. Little Palestine (Diary of a Siege) is essential documentary filmmaking. An important record of a terrible human tragedy.

Little Palestine (Diary of a Siege) screened at Visions du Réel.

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