'I Showed Palestinians the Footage That Israel Looted. They Started to Cry'

In the 1982 Lebanon War, the Israeli army raided the PLO archive in Beirut, confiscating numerous reels of film depicting Palestinian life. A new film by Karnit Mandel reveals her quest to find the mysterious footage

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Nirit Anderman
Nirit Anderman
Nirit Anderman
Nirit Anderman

Ten years ago, Karnit Mandel paid a visit to the Israel Defense Forces and Defense Establishment Archive in Tel Aviv. At the time, Mandel, an experienced archive sleuth, was working as a researcher on documentary films. One day, when she was hunting for old footage, she glanced over at the next table. Amid a hodgepodge of old drawings and documents that had clearly seen better days – her gaze happened to fall on a file folder on the messy table. Inside was a long list of items on a printout from a particularly ancient computer printer, bearing a Hebrew title that was hard to ignore: “War Booty Films.”

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