Palestinian history resembles other histories of exile and displacement, in which everyday existence is experienced through the mediation of nostalgia for the lost nature-and-nation unity, and for the utopian homeland that remains untainted by contemporary affairs. The introduction analyses these histories as histories of trauma, it deals with the concept of trauma as a severely horrific event that remains unregistered by the consciousness, resisting the immersion into a sequential and causal story. It describes how the Palestinian cinema, in its attempt to invent, document, and crystallize Palestinian history, confronts the trauma. On the one hand, it attempts to construct a historical continuity, leading from the past to the present and the future. On the other hand, Palestinian cinema freezes history either in a utopian, idyllic past, or in the events of exile and deportation that disrupted it and are revived as if they were part of the present. The introduction gives a short survey of the history of Palestinian cinema and it attempts to work through the trauma.
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