Know Hope offers a unique exploration into the challenges faced by Palestinian refugees and how their experiences, past and present, shape them. Can a fresh perspective create a new discourse on a 100 year old colonial endeavour and it’s American enabler.
We join Zakaria Zubedi on his two hour commute to work in Ramallah, as he reflects on a life shaped by an ever-changing physical and emotional landscape. This daily drive creates the framework for the narrative, as we journey through memories and thoughts, erupting into the collective frustration of a forgotten people. This journey is not only a mechanism to move the story forward, it symbolises his own personal freedom.
Only 12 months ago this journey would have been impossible and a risk to his life. Israel had unofficially restricted his movements as punishment for his part in the Second Palestinian Intifada (The Palestinian uprising 2000-2005).
Zakaria’s life sets the trajectory of the film, from his early life, surrounded by politics, to being shot at 13, imprisoned at 14 and 15, living with a children's theatre on his parents top floor, surviving the first intifada, his involvement in the second intifada, the murder of his mother and the tragic battle of Jenin. He was the most wanted man in Israel for over 7 years, the man Israel called the Palestinian Robin Hood, who started the World renowned children’s ‘Freedom Theatre’ only to be wrongly imprisoned by his own people.
Using interviews and conversations collected over the past 7 years, Zakaria's stories are punctuated by the experiences of refugees within the Jenin camp. The film is interwoven with the beautiful and powerful poem ‘State of Siege’ by Mahmoud Darwish. The poem ceates a thought-provoking insight into the life of Zakaria and the Palestinian people, an emotive layer that communicates an essential truth, beyond mere fact.
With their human rights either denied or restricted, Palestinian refugees cling to their culture, as their land, water and hope are swept aside, and the sadly familiar story of suffering by an indigenous people continues. Zakaria Zubedi is a man who has suffered more than most under this Occupation, now in his forties he believes more than ever that true freedom for Palestinians and Israelis can only exists in a one-state, bi-national democracy with equal rights for all based on citizenship rather than race or ethnicity.
Zakaria dreams of freedom and equality, but these radical ideas are not welcome. Too much is at stake and too much is being invested to defeat this dream. Palestine is being forgotten, erased, decolonized, misrepresented and out-manoeuvred by Israel at every turn. Self-defence or retaliation by the few is paid for by the many. During his life he has seen the decolonization of his homeland, seen illegal settlements grow, seen Palestinian land diminish and Jerusalem given away. He has experienced first hand the positive results of cultural resistance and the utter failure of armed resistance.
Through the experiences that have shaped him, we gain a greater understanding of what it is to be Palestinian. The film explores how we can move towards peace or if true reconciliation is even possible. How would it work and what does each side have to offer to secure their futures.