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In 1969, a European airline was hijacked by two members of the Che Guevara Commando Unit of the Popular Front fighting for the liberation of Palestine. One was 24-year-old Leila Khaled who became a national hero to the Palestinians as well as a blacklisted international terrorist.
30 years later, a Palestinian-Swede, Lina Makboul heads to Palestine in search of Leila Khaled. For Lina, who wished for the Palestinians to regain the land of their ancestors, Leila had been an icon and a role model. However, Lina, who upon reaching her thirties had become skeptical of the hijacking Leila had led, asks Leila some probing questions during their interview: Do you think the Palestinians were branded in a negative way due to the terrorist attack; is violence such as terrorism a justifiable means for liberation; do you regret participating in such terrorist actions, etc.
Through an unveiling the airline hijacker, Leila Khaled, we come to learn that she is not a violent monster but a normal, charismatic person. The terrorist, whom outsiders perceived her as, was a hero and a warrior to her people, a mother to a family and a warm-hearted, yet decisive woman. This documentary, with touches of black comedy, sheds light on terrorism and the troubles in the Middle-East from a woman’s perspective. (Kim Sun-ah)
Lina MakboulLina Makboul
Lina Makboul was born in Sweden to Palestinian parents who are from Nablus on the West bank. She started working as a journalist at the Swedish National Radio in 1996. In 1998 she began working with television at the Swedish National Television, SVT. Currently she lives in Gothenburg, Sweden. Leila Khaled Hijacker is her debut as a filmmaker.