"As villagers plan to visit their old homes, some among them wonder if they should perpetuate the pain of remembering. The answer: "Rights don't disappear as long as someone claims them." Anne-Marie Brumm, New Outlook
Ma'loul is a Palestinian village in Galilee which was destroyed by the Israeli armed forces in 1948. Its inhabitants were driven out and expropriated. All that remains of the village are two churches and a mosque, the last visible traces for travellers between Haifa and Nazareth. Over the years, they too disappeared, under a forest planted in memory of the victims of Nazism. The Israeli authorities thus wiped off the map hundreds of Arab villages.
But the former inhabitants of Ma'loul have created a new tradition: that of going for a picnic one day a year on the site of their destroyed village, paradoxically on the day of the independence of the State of Israel. It is the day of the picnic that we filmed; the encounter with a stone, a window, a wall, an olive or a pomegranate tree... hidden under the woods. A peasant notes among the young pines certain uncertain landmarks of his lost universe. A family comments with a naive purity on the mural fresco of their village, painted according to traces from their memory. As required by the official Israeli curriculum, a teacher explains to his Arab students the history of the creation of the State of Israel… These are elements of reality that confront each other and make up the film; they allow us to pose a new dimension to the Israeli-Palestinian conflic: that of time.
With the inhabitants of the destroyed village of Ma’loul