Farha: why this Netflix film creates controversy

Since its arrival on Netflix on December 1, the film Farha directed by Darin J. Sallam does not appeal to everyone. By telling the story of the Nakba from a Palestinian perspective, the platform has drawn the ire of Israel.


In Farha, Palestinian-Jordanian director Darin J. Sallam sets her action in 1948 Palestine. This is where her heroine, a 14-year-old girl played by young Karam Taher, watches from a closed pantry key to the disaster that devastates his home. This catastrophe, most call it the Nakba.

It designates the exodus of the Palestinians and the expropriation of their lands after the creation of the State of Israel. A subject a bit touchy on paper which did not prevent the feature film from being presented at the Toronto Film Festival last year.

It is Netflix which has offered itself the broadcasting rights in the world. Farha could have made a discreet arrival on the platform on December 1 if an Israeli minister had not made known in a press release his dissatisfaction and his disagreement with the events told in the feature film: “It’s crazy that Netflix decided to release a movie whose sole purpose is to incite hatred against Israeli soldiers“.

As relayed by BFM TV, the government’s finance minister Avigdor Lieberman also threatened to “halt public funding to a theater in Jaffa, south Tel Aviv, which plans to screen the film.”

Another controversy in France

In France, Netflix must respond to another controversy raised by users on Twitter. The latter indeed explain that Farha cannot be found on the platform and that you have to go through a Google search in order to be able to watch it.

Asked by us, Netflix wanted to provide some details, which we relay to you below:

We present our subscribers with personalized recommendations based on several factors (taste, device used, viewing habits, etc.). One of the important criteria is the subscriber’s preferred language. When a film or series does not have dubbing or subtitles in the subscriber’s preferred language, it is not considered relevant, and is therefore not available on the service. This is the case here, and all you have to do is switch your account to English, and the title becomes available. It’s not just about this movie. In reality, many programs not available in French are in this case.

To be able to switch to an English account, simply click on “manage profiles”, select the one you want, and change the language. You will then find the movie by typing in the search bar. Currently, Farha is only available in Arabic, with English subtitles.

If you want to go further, know that in October 2021, Netflix released a collection of films and series from Palestinian creators to discover here.

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