Wounds Of the Heart: An Artist and Her Nation
A Film By John Halaka

Born and raised in the village of Tarsheha in the Galilee, Rana Bishara is a Palestinian Visual Artist whose creative practice includes sculpture, installation work and performance art. Her artwork functions simultaneously as an elegy to the Palestinian Nakba (the Arabic term for The Great Disaster that began in 1948), an unmasking of the brutality of the Israeli occupation of Palestine and a critique of the biased Western media’s depiction of the Palestinians’ struggle against their occupiers. The objects employed in her artwork perform as surrogates for the body and spirit of Palestine and its people. Her work, in both its physical and conceptual manifestations is an expression of the inseparable blending of the personal and political experiences that define the identity of every Palestinian.

As a Palestinian citizen of Israel, Rana deeply understands how feelings of belonging and claims of ownership, irrevocably separate, yet permanently connect Arabs and Jews in their struggle for a land that is called Palestine by one group and Israel by the other. Each of the two cultures wants to hold on to every inch of land claimed by the other. The Palestinians strongly feel that they belong to the land, while the Israelis insist that the land belongs to them.  Bishara’s artwork is deeply embedded in and informed by the Palestinian experiences of displacement, exile and occupation and the desire of Palestinian refugees to return to the lands they were displaced from. Through her work, Rana wants to convey the wounds of the heart inflicted upon her father’s generation and subsequent generations of Palestinians. She wants to bear witness to a once multicultural Palestinian society that was destroyed in 1948 and a once thriving agricultural society that has been irrevocably changed.

2009 release by SittingCrow Productions
Produced, filmed, written, narrated and directed by John Halaka.
Edited by Marissa Bowman.
Music composed and performed by the Ramallah based musician Samer Totah
Running time: 53 minutes

For further information regarding the film, please contact John Halaka at [email protected] or call 619.260.4107.