Trip Along ExodusRihla Fee Al Raheel
PALESTINE, SYRIA, LEBANON, USA / 2015 / Arabic / Color / Blu-ray / 120 min
Director, Photography, Source: Hind Shoufani
Photography: Rajai Khateeb, Adam Shapiro, Atilio Menendez, Lafi, Nick Zajicek
Editing: Ayman Nahle
Elias Shoufani, a leader of the PLO in the 1970s and a fierce critic of Yasser Arafat, eventually disappeared from the political stage. He had abandoned his young family to dedicate himself to the Palestinian revolution, and his daughter—who is also the film’s director—comes to know him in his old age, and in his death. This close look at Shoufani’s personal history sheds light on the seventy-year tragedy of the Palestinian people.
[Director’s Statement] Growing up in Beirut, Damascus and Amman surrounded by drivers, bodyguards, metal bars, and hushed whispers of political maneuverings, I knew little of what obsessed my mysterious absent father. Should anyone ask, he was a “writer.” Decades later, I discovered he abandoned his family in the occupied Galilee and a career teaching in the Ivy League in the U.S. to help lead the 1970s Palestinian revolution. I went on a archival hunt, perhaps wishing to forgive the hardships his decision caused us. For five years, I explored stories and filmed in seven cities, found long-estranged friends and family, established a new relationship with my difficult father, and finally gained an understanding of my place in this world.
Hind Shoufani is a Palestinian filmmaker and poet. A Fulbright scholar with an MFA in filmmaking from NYU, she has worked in the film and literature worlds for years. She has been a producer, director, editor, translator and performance poet in Beirut, Damascus, Amman, Dubai, New York City, and other places. Trip Along Exodus is her first feature documentary. She is a published poet and works freelance in several countries.