French director Jean-Luc Godard, defender of Palestine, dies age 91

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By: Taghreed Saadeh

French-Swiss director Jean-Luc Godard , the symbols of the movement that revolutionized cinema in the late 1950s and 60s — has died aged 91 on Tuesday, according to French media.

Several French media confirmed that they had learned of his death from his relatives, on Tuesday.

French newspaper Liberation was the first to report Godard’s death.

Godard was born into a wealthy French-Swiss family on December 3, 1930, in the French capital, Paris.

He remained for years one of the world’s most vibrant and provocative directors in Europe and beyond, beginning with his first feature film, Breathless, in 1960.

His films catapulted French actor Jean-Paul Belmondo to stardom, while his controversial play Hell Mary made headlines when it was criticized by Pope John Paul II in 1985.

He visited Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon in the 70s.
After the 1967 Al Naksa, he traveled to Lebanon and directed a documentary film on the Palestinian resistance.

Godard was one of the few filmmakers who stood by the Palestinian right to an independent state.

In the early seventies, Godard traveled to the Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan and wanted to make a documentary film about the Palestinian revolution entitled “Until Victory.” But after Godard returned to France, he made another film completely different from the one he came for, entitled “Here and There” in 1976, Collaboration with Annemarie Phil and Jean-Pierre Guerin.

The film is divided into two parts that revolve around them; Here: a typical French family sitting in front of the TV watching moving pictures, and there: Palestinian guerrillas among them children in training camps and their daily lives, and other images of death and destruction.

In 2010, he was awarded an honorary Oscar for his entire film career, despite being a fierce critic of Hollywood and a controversial figure, due to his stances on the Israeli occupation and his public defense of the Palestinian cause. Godard announced at the time that he would not go in person to receive the award.

In 2011, he directed the documentary “Our Music” – 75 minutes, in which he focused on the late poet Mahmoud Darwish.

Presented on the Cannes Film Festival 2018, Le Livre d image, an experimental film largely dedicated about the Arab world, especially the Palestinian cause. He received a “special” Golden Palm for this film, even though he did not attend the festival.

In 2018, Godard announced his joining the movement to boycott Israeli cinema.

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