I’m a bit late on this, but I think it important to take note of Fatenah, the new Palestinian animated documentary, which Erika Solomon at Reuters described on July 3rd as:

The true story of a young Gazan woman’s futile battle against breast cancer has been commemorated in the first-ever Palestinian animated commercial film. “Fatenah” debuted last night in the West Bank city of Ramallah, at the Al-Kasabah Theater, and was received by a large and enthusiastic audience [as seen in the above video]. …

The film, only 30-minutes long, draws inspiration from a true story of a woman who died in the midst of trying to get treatment for breast cancer. Her story was documented by the Israeli branch of Physicians for Human Rights.

Director and animator Ahmad Habash says the piece, which is being funded by the World Health Organization in the occupied Palestinian territories, tries not to portray either side—Israeli or Palestinian—as sheer good or evil. “That’s the reality,” he said. “There were doctors that tricked the girl and those that helped her on the Palestinian side. And on the Israeli side there were people who helped her, and those who didn’t”.

An Associated Press story notes the film had a $60,000 budget and is schedule to make the international festival circuit. The publicity accorded the film only goes to confirm that the recent trend towards high profile animated documentaries, exemplified in recent years by Persopolis and Waltz With Bashir; interestingly, all three essentially come out of the political caldron that is the Middle East.

Author: Harvey Deneroff

Harvey Deneroff is a Los Angeles-based independent animation and film scholar specializing in labor history. He formerly taught at the Savannah College of Art and Design and was editor of Animation Magazine, Animation World Magazine, and Graiffit (published by ASIFA-Hollywood). He is the founder and past president of the Society for Animation Studies.

1 thought on “Fatenah”

  1. I saw the trailer, and it was sad, real, awesome I am so looking forward to seeing the WHOLE movie. I would love to show this movie during a Women’s Fellowship at my local church, too bad I cannot get a hold of it. Beautiful……..and so so so sad.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *