Human Stories Behind Middle East Headlines


A still from "My So-Called Enemy"

For months, we have all read headlines from the Middle East that make us feel hopeless and horrified.

Though armed conflict scorches communities all over the world, this particular conflict has impacted many at New Day. Our filmmakers have written their representatives, marched in rallies, and called daily to see if friends and family are safe. Tragically, some New Day filmmakers have lost loved ones.

As filmmakers, we seek to understand the world and grow as people by listening, watching, and sharing stories. Film has the power to humanize situations, showcase the personal stories of those affected, and offer historical and cultural context that is often missing from headlines. We humbly offer our films from the Middle East that shed light on important historical and human perspectives.

Gaza Ghetto: Portrait of a Palestinian Family

Joan Mandell, 1985, 82 mins

In the first documentary film made in Gaza, Gaza Ghetto highlights the historical precedents that fuel the current cycles of violence and continue at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Remote video URL

Another Side of Peace

Ellen Unher Frick, 2004, 60 mins

After losing two sons as a direct result of the conflict in the region, Roni co-founded the Parents Circle, a support group for bereaved families, Israelis and Palestinians together. This story reminds us that humanity can supersede politics.

Remote video URL

City of Borders

Yun Suh, 2009, 66 mins

City of Borders provides an original view of the vibrant underground community at Jerusalem's only gay bar where people of opposing nationalities and religions create an unexpected island of peace in a land divided by war and hate.

Remote video URL

My So-Called Enemy

Lisa Gossels, 2013, 89 mins

Spanning seven years, this film follows six Palestinian and Israeli teenage girls who participated in a cross-cultural leadership program. The film documents the transformative experience of knowing your "enemies" as human beings.

Remote video URL

Holy Land

Peter Cohn, 2014, 80 mins

With an unflinching focus on the realities on the ground, Holy Land depicts a year in the lives of Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank. Educators find it to be a valuable resource for balanced discussion around such flashpoint issues as BDS, the two-state solution and the US approach to peace negotiations.

Remote video URL


Michael Rowley, 2019, 62 mins

Hurdle follows Palestinian youth living under military occupation. Sami and Mohammad teach the creative practices of parkour and photography to the youth of their communities as a means to overcome seemingly inescapable obstacles.

Remote video URL

Brooklyn, Inshallah

Ahmed Mansour & Jillian Karole, 2020, 83 mins

Out of 40,000 Arab-Americans living in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, only 250 were registered to vote in the last election. In a historic campaign, Father Khader El Yateem becomes the first Palestinian to run for the city council.

Remote video URL
Opens in new window