“I Want to Tell You about My Life Now”: The Voice of Palestinian Refugees in Frontiers of Dreams and Fears

Catherine Burwell


Many individuals and institutions – from scholar Edward Said to media watchdog Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting – have noted the Western media’s imbalance in presenting the struggles of the Palestinian people, particularly during the ongoing Al-Aqsa Intifada. Yet as the mainstream media continue to under-report violence against Palestinians and misrepresent the occupation of Palestinian lands, Palestinian filmmakers have begun to generate their own images, often through the genre of the documentary. This article examines one such documentary, Mai Masri’s Frontiers of Dreams and Fears, a study of the daily lives of children living in Shatila and Dheisheh refugee camps. It argues that Masri’s film, through its restoration of the lost voice of the refugee child and its insistence on Palestinian narrative, provides an essential alternative to the exploitative images of the institutionalized media.

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