パレスチナ1948 -NAKBA-

Directed by Ryuichi HIROKAWA Cinemagraphy and Photography Ryuichi HIROKAWA

  • Director Ryuichi Hirokawa went to Israel in 1967 and worked on a kibbutz.
  • One day he found rubble at the edge of the kibbutz that later proved to be the remains of a village once lived in by the Palestinian people; his friend showed him an English map where next to the names of Palestinian villages was printed the word “destroyed."
  • It was evidence of the fact that the Kibbutz had been founded on the land where this destroyed Palestinian village once stood.
  • Hirokawa’s journey to find out what had happened to the village started at that moment.
  • In his journey into the past, he learned about the NAKBA and a history which had been waiting to be revealed.

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  • INTRODUCTION
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  • The year 2008 marks the 60th anniversary of the foundation of Israel. It marks also the beginning of 60 years of the suffering for the Palestinian people. This tragedy is referred to as the “Nakba,” meaning catastrophe in Arabic.
  • Since 1948 at least 420 Palestinian villages have vanished. The photo journalist Ryuichi Hirokawa has filmed over 1,000 hours of footage and has taken thousands of photographs of the Palestinian people and their vanished villages. This film is a distillation of this footage.

STORY

-What's NAKBA-

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In November 2006 Ryuichi Hirokawa revisited Kibbutz Dalia, where he used to live when he first went to Israel in 1967.
Intrigued by the idea of a kibbutz, an agricultural community advocating socialism, he worked and studied Hebrew there. But he found that on one area then covered with cacti and scattered rocks Palestinians had once lived. It was the site of a Palestinian village called “Daliyat al-Rawha,” which had disappeared from the map. Hirokawa began his quest to discover what had happened to the villagers of Daliyat al-Rawha.
His 8mm film footage of the massacre in the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila in 1982 was an international scoop and launched his career as a video journalist.
When taking footage in Shatila of 8 year-old Mervat, whom he had met just before the incident, he learned of an elder sister of hers named Kifah that had been arrested for involvment in guerilla activity. Hirokawa worked for the release of Kifah, who had been imprisoned in the notorious Khiam detention center in South Lebanon for six years. Overcoming the trauma of her torture there, Kifah recovered to rebuild her life. Hirokawa has followed her experience.
Hirokawa’s search for the vanished villages, beginning with Daliyat al-Rawha, has become a path into the history of destruction and massacres the Palestinian people have had to endure; Kafr Bir’im, Tantura, Dayr Yasin…
He recorded vivid testimonies of massacres in villiages since deserted. And he eventually managed to find the former villagers of Daliyat al-Rawha.
Four hundred and twenty villages vanished in 1948. Hirokawa’s mission to record those testimonies, which started with his first visits to Israel 40 years ago, has not yet finished.

「On creating “NAKBA” Palestine, 1948」 By Ryuichi HIROKAWA

I feel it is becoming more and more important to make records today,
when histories have been erased and ignored everywhere, and not just in Palestine.
The documentary is of great significance as a record of history, either in the form of film or photography.
As long as those who make history are always the winners, the histories of the victims will be ignored and erased.
I have no way of knowing the actual number of civilian victims of the bombings in Afghanistan or in Iraq, for example, for the occupiers are precisely those who destroyed the land with their formidable power.
If the Nazis had won the war, the Jewish holocaust would have been completely concealed in human history.
The destruction of the Palestinian villages has not long been made public, either.
The reason is that the history of the Palestinians has been ignored and erased, imbedded in an Israeli history recorded from the winner’s point of view.
The Palestinian villages names might have been erased forever, not only from maps, but also from the teachings of history.
Leaving records of what really happened through the witnesses who actually experienced the menaces and threats is most important when it comes to historical obliteration, conscious erasure, or even massacres.
On the other hand, efforts were made by some conscientious Jewish people to find possible ways to co-exist with the Palestinian people. These should also be properly kept as significant records.
It is the real record of history that could be the basis on which future “co-existence” might be worked out. And this is the aim of my work.

Profile of Ryuichi HIROKAWA


Born in China in 1945, he returned to Japan two years later.
After graduating in 1967 from Waseda University, he moved to Israel and started working on a kibbutz.
He also started his career as a Photo Journalist there before returning again to Japan in 1970.
He has since done much work overseas, mainly in the Middle East and on the accident at Chernobyl.

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STAFF

NAKBA Palestine 1948

Directed by Ryuichi HIROKAWA
(2008/131min/Documentary/DVCAM/JAPAN)
Ryuichi HIROKAWA PALESTINIAN DOCUMENTARY FILM MAKING COMMITTEE

Presents

a HIROPRESS JAPAN. INC production
a 1 KOMA SUPPORTERS production

Directed by

Ryuichi HIROKAWA

Cinematography

and Photography
Ryuichi HIROKAWA

Executive Producer

Noriko MORISAWA

Co-Production

YASUOKA FILMS

Produced and Edited by

Takaharu YASUOKA

Edited by

Kiyoshi TSUJII

Music

Yukiko IIRI

Sound design

Hayato ISHII

Distribution / Advertisement Cooperation

BIO TIDE
Shigeki KINOSHITA
Emi YAMAMOTO
Yoichi WATANABE
Toru HARADA

Title Design / Advertisement Design

Kei NARUSE

1 KOMA SUPPORTERS OFFICE

Masako YAMADA

Cooperation for English Edition

Eric NYARI
Kio MATSUSHITA
Yuri NAMBU

Special Thanks to

Akira USUKI
Anat PARNASS
Atsuko HAYAKAWA
Pierre KLOCHENDLER
Vladimir TAMARI
Yuzo ITAGAKI
ALEF INC

Enormous support from 1 KOMA SUPPORTERS was dedicated to the making of this film


Ryuichi HIROKAWA PALESTINIAN DOCUMENTARY FILM MAKING COMMITTEE
1117,1-1-1,EIFUKU, SUGINAMI, TOKYO, JAPAN
e-mail : hirokawa@daysjapan.net
Fax : +81-3-3322-0353