Notes on Displacement

by Khaled Jarrar
Official Poster for Notes on Displacement
Product Availability
Institutional, Home-Use, Community Screenings, Broadcast, Theatrical, Educational, Festivals, VOD
About the Film

The news is full of images of overcrowded boats and vast tent camps. But how much do we really know about what refugees are going through? Notes on Displacement takes a deep dive by following a single family on a grueling journey, destination Germany. Their fear, disorientation, and solidarity is palpable.

Nadira, an elderly Palestinian, has been a refugee since the age of 12. And now she has to leave Damascus, too. She and her daughter Mona feared for their lives there, but the idea of a safe existence elsewhere is a distant dream. Filmmaker Khaled Jarrar receives unsettling videos and voice messages as they cross to the Greek island of Lesbos. He joins them there, on the long road to a better life.

Jarrar has his personal reasons for going through this experience in order to eliminate, in his own images, the distance so dominant in Western media coverage. He worms his way through the thronging crowds, gets lost in the night with his group, discovers how dangerous language barriers can be, and wanders around in the dehumanizing camps. And in a sense he—along with the viewer— becomes a true member of this family.

2022  ·  1h14m  ·  Germany, Palestine, Qatar
Arabic, English
Arabic, English subs
Festivals and Awards
Toronto Palestine Film Festival, Official Selection
Golden Apricot Yerevan International Film Festival, Official Selection | Special Mention
Cinema sous les etoiles, Official Selection
Biografilm Festival, Official Selection | Premio Manifesto
Ethnocineca International Documentary Film Festival, Official Selection
DOXA Documentary Film Festival, Official Selection | Feature Documentary Award
Sofia International Film Festival, Official Selection
Ismailia International Film Festival, Official Selection Long Documentary Films Competition | Special Mention
Thessaloniki International Documentary Festival, Official Selection, Open Horizons
IDFA, Official Selection, Envision Competition
July 13, 2023
Moscow Cinema, Golden Apricot Yerevan International Film Festival (Yerevan, Armenia)
July 13, 2023
Cinema House, Golden Apricot Yerevan International Film Festival (Yerevan, Armenia)
July 6, 2023
Cinema sous les etoiles (Montreal, Canada)
June 13, 2023
Biografilm Festival (Bologna, Italy)
May 11, 2023
DOXA Documentary Film Festival (Vancouver, Canada)
May 7, 2023
Ethnocineca International Documentary Film Festival Vienna (Vienna, Austria)
April 4, 2023
Cinema Politica Sofie (Sofia, Bulgaria)
April 3, 2023
Cinema Politica Concordia (Montreal, Canada)
Khaled Jarrar
Khaled Jarrar, Thomas Kaske
Khaled Jarrar
Gladys Joujou
Production Company
Jenin Films, Kaske Film & Odeh Films

"Skilfully crafted, with a commendably thorough attention to the whys and hows of migrant/refugee issues"

"Notes on Displacement offers an important form of representation that can coerce people and institutions to engage with the crisis and ameliorate it rather than simply erecting barriers and hiding behind them."

"a powerful and poetic counter-concept to a world defined by boundaries and exclusion that Jarrar through his work is determined to overcome."

“Jarrar’s bravery and compassion create a deeply human look at the individuals who find themselves forced to migrate in search of safety.”

About the Director

Khaled Jarrar

Khaled Jarrar was born in Jenin, Occupied Palestine in 1976. He lives and works in New York City. Jarrar completed his studies in interior design at Palestine Polytechnic University in 1996. Upon graduating he smuggled himself to work as a carpenter in Nazareth, living as an underground “illegal” worker. In 1998 Jarrar enlisted in an intensive military training which resulted in working for Arafat as a personal body guard until Arafat’s death in 2004. Attempting to create a life between the military and an artistic practice, Jarrar entered the field of photography in 2005. Jarrar graduated from the International Academy of Art – Palestine, Ramallah in 2011 and completed an MFA in fine art from the University of Arizona in 2019.

Jarrar, a multidisciplinary artist, explores modern power struggles and their sociocultural impact on ordinary citizens through highly symbolic photographs, videos, film, and performative interventions. His State of Palestine project was featured in the 7th Berlin Biennale. Where We Lost Our Shadows, his filmic collaboration with Pulitzer prize winning composer Du Yun, was shown at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. Jarrar’s work has been featured at Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah; the New Museum, New York City; the University of Applied Arts, Vienna; the 15th Jakarta Biennale; 52nd October Salon, Belgrade; Al-Ma’mal Foundation, Jerusalem; and the London Film Festival. Infiltrators, Jarrar’s first feature length film, was a documentary about the business of Palestinian’s “illegally” crossing and won the FIPRESCI Award for Best Documentary, Jury Special Award and the Muhr Arab Documentary Special Jury Prize at the Dubai International Film Festival in 2012. Notes on Displacement, his second feature length, about a Palestinian refugee’s flight from Syria to Germany, will receive a world premier at the IDFA Envision Competition in November 2022.