Roger Waters backs film on legacy of the Nakba

The Pink Floyd frontman to become the executive producer of a new film by Sarah Friedland and +972 writer Rami Younis on the tragic history of one of Palestine’s most important cities.

By Yali (Yael) Marom

British rock legend Roger Waters speaks to students at the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School, Jerusalem, June 1, 2009. (Lior Mizrahi/Flash90)
British rock legend Roger Waters speaks to students at the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School, Jerusalem, June 1, 2009. (Lior Mizrahi/Flash90)

Pink Floyd frontman and human rights activist Roger Waters announced this week that he would be lending his support to a new documentary by +972 and Local Call writer Rami Younis and American director Sarah Friedland titled “Lyd in Exile.” Waters, who has become an outspoken supporter of the Palestinian cause, decided to donate to the project and will be listed as the film’s executive producer.

“A few days ago I received an email from Roger Waters himself, Younis says. “He saw our crowd funding campaign and said he was interested in donating a large sum to finish up production, which automatically turned him into our executive producer. He thought the film was beautiful and wanted us our project to succeed.”

“Lyd in Exile” is a Palestinian-American production, which focuses on the story of the city Lyd (“Lod” in Hebrew) in central Israel, as an example of the continuation of the Nakba since 1948. The directors chose Lyd to exemplify what has been taking place across all of historic Palestine since 1948. What was once an important city that connected Palestine to the rest of the world thanks to its airport and geographical location, has become a city of home demolitions against its Palestinian population, religious settler groups, an apartheid wall that separates between the Palestinian neighborhood and the Jewish one, and endless attempts to erase its Palestinian history.

Crowdfund campaign banner

The filming took place over four years, during which the directors and American producer Fivel Rothberg, documented every corner of the city, while also filming in the Palestinian refugee camps where Lyd’s former residents now live. The film also provides evidence of a war crime that took place during the 1948 war, in which the Palmach strike force massacred hundreds of Palestinians in a mosque in the center of the city.

“I am ecstatic that he is supporting our project,” says Friedland. “I have great admiration for his commitment to Palestine and his leadership around the movement in the entertainment industry. The album “The Wall was one of the things that got me thinking about challenging structures of power and how to be a thoughtful and creative rebel.”

Watch +972 Rami Younis speak about his new film:

“This is a dream come true,” Younis continues. “Few people can understand what it feels like to receive such support from a personal hero, a man who has inspired you and millions of others.”

With Rogers’ support, Younis and Friedland were able to reach their campaign goal, and now they are hoping for more support from the public. They also hope that with Waters as executive producer, they will be able to enlist additional funds from international foundations and private donors, which will allow them to complete the film.

Yael Marom is Just Vision’s public engagement manager in Israel and a co-editor of Local Call, where this article was originally published in Hebrew.