Women leaders of the first intifada
Director: suhad babaa
In the spring of 1988, a clandestine network of Palestinian women activists emerged from the fringes of society to lead a vibrant unarmed social movement. This film is the story of the unlikely heroes who shattered stereotypes while bringing Israel and the world to recognize Palestinians as a people for the first time.
Shortly after the beginning of the Intifada, thousands of Palestinian men had been rounded up and imprisoned by the Israeli army for organizing grassroots opposition to the occupation. When Israel’s massive arrest campaign left the movement gutted and leaderless, hundreds of Palestinian women filled the void. They were working class and elite, religious and secular. They were teachers, farmers, lawyers and housewives, rising up from villages, cities and refugee camps.
Through evocative Under-Camera animation, exclusive interviews and never before seen archival footage, the movie brings out of anonymity the women behind the headlines. Most images of the First Intifada paint a misleading picture of violent young men front and center. This film smashes that fallacy and shows what truly took place – an unbending nonviolent women’s movement at the head of Palestine’s struggle for freedom.
Suhad Babaa is the Executive Director of Just Vision, a team of filmmakers, journalists, storytellers and human rights advocates who research, document and amplify the stories of Palestinians and Israelis working to end the occupation and build a future of freedom, dignity and equality. Her team has created award-winning documentary films (including Budrus and My Neighbourhood) and runs an independent Hebew-language news site (Local Call) featuring Palestinian and Israeli grassroots leaders that have reached millions worldwide.
Suhad previously served as Just Vision's Director of Programming, overseeing their outreach efforts across the United States, Israel, and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Suhad has addressed dozens of audiences at venues including the United Nations, White House, Harvard University and film festivals, mosques, synagogues and churches across the country. She has been an integral member of the team's impact campaigns around the award-winning films Budrus and My Neighbourhood. Suhad is a Global Shaper at the World Economic Forum and Princeton Emerging Leader.