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‘Amira’ sparks controversy online, draws wide criticism

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(Photo: Amira movie)
AMMAN — “Amira” has sparked a wide controversy over social media platforms in the last days, as users claimed that the film offended Palestinians, detainees in particular, and demanded that the film not be screened any more. اضافة اعلان

According to the storyline, published on the film’s website, “Amira, a 17-year-old Palestinian, was conceived with the smuggled sperm of her imprisoned father, Nawar. Although their relationship since birth has been restricted to prison visits, he remains her hero. His absence in her life is overcompensated with love and affection from those surrounding her. But when a failed attempt to conceive another child reveals Nawar’s infertility, Amira’s world turns upside down.” 

The film represents Jordan in the 2022 Oscar nominations for Best Foreign Film. It was first screened at Jordan’s Karama Film Festival, and premiered in partnership with the Arab Media Network, Abu-Lughod Studios, and MAD Solutions.

Founder of the Arab Media Network and Abu-Lughod Studios, Tareq Abu-Lughod, defended the film, saying those who watched the film would know that “it did not by any means offend Palestine or Palestinians”. He demanded critics to watch the film and form their own opinion, rather than be influenced by rumors. “The film is a fictional story and not a documentary, and ends by saying everything we want to say, and clearly delivers the message we wanted to send, Abu-Lughod said.

Head of Jordanian Artists Association Hussien Khatib told Jordan News that a specialized committee will screen the film and, based on their review, a decision will be taken as to what action to take, noting that Palestine and its people will always be a red line that Jordan would never compromise. 
The Palestinian Ministry of Culture criticized the production, saying that “it clearly assaults and abuses the dignity of the prisoners, their heroism, and their great history of struggle”.

Head of the Hamas Artistic Production Department, Muhammad Thorayya, said that the film portrays a distorted image of the Palestinian people, and urged the countries involved to stop the shows. 

The Palestinian Prisoners Club also was critical of the film saying it serves well the occupation authorities and their narrative against the prisoners, indicating that “the club will take serious actions against the film.”

Jordan’s Royal Film Commission on Wednesday sought to correct people’s misconception on the film, saying it is not a documentary, but fiction, adding that its role as a commission is to announce Oscar nominations and assist film makers in the process. 

Released in 2021, the film is directed by Mohamed Diab, and stars Tara Abboud as Amira.

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