organization Art Promotion



 Palestina, Olanda, Belgio – 1980 – DVD – color – 104’


Direction: Michel Khleifi

Cinematography: Yves van der Meeren, Marc André Batigue

Editing: Moufida Tlatli

With: Farah Hatoum, Sahar Khalifeh

Producers: Michel & Georges Khleifi

Production: Marisa Film2



First feature film shot in Palestine (inside the “Green Line”), this multi award-winning film has become a cornerstone of the Palestinian film. Fertile Memory is a mixture of fiction and documentary, which tells the story of two very different women: Farah Hatoum, a 50 -year-old widow and a worker of Nazareth, and the writer Sahar Khalifeh, who divorced lives with her daughter in the West Bank area, in Ramallah, occupied since 1967. Khleifi observes very closely both women, in their everyday life and thus paints a picture of the women conditions in the Palestinian society, of the life under occupation and of women in a society ruled by men. Without political rhetoric following the emotions, the heavy everyday life of a life which is a “miracle of the impotence” as Sahar says. The story , the reality, the future, the contradictions of Palestine, are reflected in the portraits of these two women, the intellectual woman and the worker woman – both share the same fight for freedom and dignity.



Michel Khleifi (born 1950 in Nazareth) is a Palestinian film writer, director and producer. He emigrated from Israel in 1970 and now resides in Belgium. There, he studied television and theatre directing at the Institut National Supérieur des Arts du Spectacle (INSAS). After graduating from INSAS, he worked in Belgium television before turning to making his own films. He has directed and produced several documentary and feature films and received several prestigious awards including the International Critics’ Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, the Golden Shell at San Sebastián International Film Festival and the André Cavens Award in 1987 for his film Wedding in Galilee. Michel Khleifi currently teaches at INSAS.



Fertile Memory was for me the vision of the present towards the past for a better future. I tried to push the real scenes from daily life towards fictionality ,by exploring the two women’s external and internal worlds.I had to suppress the boundaries between reality and fiction, document and narration.Is not Palestine the essence of the mythical country, inspite of its reality?!”