Ajyal Film Festival 2019

All Films

My Name is Ahlam (Esmi Ahlam)

Arab Film Competition - Doha Tribecca Film Festival 2010

Rima Essa / Feature Documentary / Palestine / 2010 / 74 min / Color / HDCAM / In Arabic, Hebrew / English subtitles / International Premiere
Rated: General Audiences. Suitable for ages 4 and up.


Aisha, a Palestinian woman living in the occupied West Bank, is fighting for her daughter's right to receive adequate treatment for her leukemia. Director Rima Essa brings to the screen a unique testimonial that avoids self-pity and victimization, focusing instead on Aisha's process of empowerment. Suddenly she is no longer afraid to stand up to her occupiers and to her conservative society. "When a child is sick, the mother suffers with him," says Aisha, who is forced to deal with her family's crisis amidst the impossible conditions of life under the Israeli occupation. Despair is not an option for her and for her people: "We suffer but hope that life will change." Developed through the efforts of Greenhouse - a Mediterranean project for feature-length documentaries about human rights and racism - the film tells an incredible story, made by a director who has been a longtime champion of rights for Palestinians inside Israel and in the occupied territories.

About the Director

Rima Essa
Born and raised in the north of Israel, close to the Lebanon border, Essa became the first Palestinian director to graduate from the Sam Spiegel Film School in Jerusalem. Her first film was a documentary portrait of her father, titled "Ashes," and she also co-directed "Hole in the Wall" for Jerusalem's Alternative Information Centre.


Rima Essa
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