Slingshot Hip Hop

Palestinian rappers mobilize and unite fellow Palestinians despite walls, checkpoints and borders.

SLINGSHOT HIP HOP depicts the struggles of Palestinian youth in Palestine and inside Israel living under occupation and seeking to build a future. Difficult and joyous, the film is a fresh and unique approach to witness life for Palestinians between the river and the sea. It takes Hip Hop back to its ghetto roots as a trenchant critique of oppression.  Ostensibly about Hip Hop, the film is about overcoming the closed future facing Palestinian youth.

The feature-length documentary film from 2008 tracing the history and development of Palestinian hip hop from the time the group DAM pioneered the art form in the late 1990s. Directed by Syrian-American filmmaker Jackie Reem Salloum the film weaves together the stories of young Palestinian artists living in Gaza, the West Bank, and inside Israel as they discover hip hop, and employ it as a tool to surmount divisions imposed by military occupation and poverty. From internal checkpoints and separation walls to gender norms and generational differences, this is a story of young artists breaking through the obstacles that separate them.

"The film deserves the widest audience possible as it achieves something quite significant. Following the secret Oslo negotiations of the early ’90s which disenfranchised the Palestinian Diaspora, the Israeli agenda of colonization redoubled its efforts and international law was abandoned to the wind, and the word “hope” became a laughable conceit. However, this film is one of the most hope-inspiring things to come around in a long while. This viewer was left with the feeling that if any positive change does come about in the near future, it will be because of grassroots efforts like those of these artists who subvert the barriers that have been imposed on them and their people." - The Electronic Intifada

"Slingshot Hophop is an eye opener to see what is going on behind the scenes and between the lines in Palestine. While following the rappers, you will see collapse of stereotypes about Palestinian youth, family life, and of course, music. And it is going to remind you one more time: There is always hope for justice."    - Filistin Filistin



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