Salt of this Sea

It was not until last night that I watched the movie Salt of this Sea by Annemarie Jacir. I have been hearing about it for a while now, and cannot believe that I have not seen it earlier.

Starring in Salt of this Sea or (milhu hathal bahr - in Arabic) is well-known Palestinian poet from New York, Suheir Hammad and Saleh Bakri, a well-known Palestinian actor.

The script was very poignant and symbolic, and the story so true and typical of all Palestinians. Personally for me, there was a very melancholic feeling, accompanied by a lot of anger. Sparing you most details, the main characters in the movie suffer from restriction. They are denied entry to a land they can only see in their dreams. Faced with reality, but determined to defy it, they try to steal these precious moments of which they are deprived, and enjoy them while they last. They manage to sneak into Yafa (Jaffa). What is sad is that they start to make pretend, like they could manage to really stay there even if it was "illegal" for them to. Put in that position, I would pretend too. Like them, I would also try to forget everything stolen from the Palestinians and pretend like it was still there, like there was never an occupation and never an intruder.

Mostly, what took my breath away was all the scenery. There was Jerusalem and its old streets, and the beautiful blue sea, the fertile orange trees and the amazing old houses of Yafa. I spent the whole night dreaming of being there, breathing the perfumed air, lying on the tranquil beach, tasting the oranges and walking so freely in the streets of Yafa.

Honestly, I felt like this movie was made for people like myself; Palestinians who have not lived in nor seen all of Palestine. I felt like it was a gift. I had only heard about Yafa's beauty in my grandparents' stories and had never quite been through such an experience. I think that most people would say that the movie is crucial for foreigners, who are usually the ones who are unfamiliar with Palestinians' stolen rights. I would agree to a very large extent, but personally still, I felt like it was for me.

This afternoon, I watched the movie again. I had not missed any particular detail but I wanted to have that feeling again. It was the closest I could get to being in Yafa, whose door is shut in my face, a heaven on earth that I would only see in my dreams.


  1. It is a great movie. I felt the same. We need more of these films to communicate our cause to the rest of the World. Suheir is a very talented Palestinian and we are very proud of her determination and talents.

  2. ampal,

    Thank you for taking the time to read and give feedback. It's nice to know that others also share the same feeling. We definitely need more movies and more people like Suheir.

  3. ya ALLAAAH lina!! This is so true,, and so touching! i remember i watched the movie... maybe 2 years ago when the producer was here and we watched it in Ras el Ein i guess... i feel now that i want to watch it again and concentrate in every single detail! i know ur exact feeling about this dream! it was my first and last time when i visited Jerusalem in 2000... i was dying to get the visa bcoz it went into complicated procedures then,, and when i was there i felt i was in a movie or a beautiful dream that i could hardly believe i'm in PALESTINE! but at the same time a feeling of bitterness and great hatred that i couldn't hide to those controlling and stealing everyth there...

    Lina,, keep up,, this is too much for a comment,, bs Mashallah u have a way of expressing ur feelings that i can't resist not to comment and u get things out of me by ur amazing classy style of writing.. with real sincerity and honesty,, i love the design and the photos and every single thing..

    One day inshalla u will be an important Arabic Palestinian writer :)proud of u ;)


  4. Very touching ... very true .... and very very good write up.

    Forever Palestine.


  5. Dana,
    It is so lovey to have your support and encouragement. I'm really glad you could relate to it, it shows that we all feel the same towards what's happening. I was very touched by your story. It really is a very sad angry feeling, but this will not last.

    Thank you for your continuous feedback. Sanarjio Yawman!

    Forever Palestine!