Naila and the Uprising
When a nation-wide uprising breaks out in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, a young woman in Gaza is forced to make a choice between love, family and freedom. Undaunted, she embraces all three, joining a clandestine network of women in a movement that forces the world to recognize the Palestinian right to self-determination for the first time. Naila and the Uprising chronicles the remarkable journey of Naila Ayesh whose story weaves through the most vibrant, nonviolent mobilization in Palestinian history – the First Intifada in the late 1980s. We follow Naila and her fellow activists as they build parallel institutions to challenge the Israeli military’s control of Palestinian life: underground classrooms to replace schools that were shut down by the army, citizen-run health clinics to treat those with no access to hospitals, and “victory gardens” to break reliance on Israeli agriculture. But as the uprising turns to negotiations, will the women be able to carry forward the vision of equality that their activism set in motion? Using evocative animation, intimate interviews and exclusive archival footage, this documentary brings out of anonymity the courageous women activists who have remained on the margins of history. . . until now. While most images of the First Intifada paint an incomplete picture of stone-throwing young men front and center, this film tells the story that history overlooked – an unbending, nonviolent women’s movement at the head of Palestine’s struggle for freedom.