Mohammad Bakri

  (Redirected from Mohammed Bakri)

Mohammad Bakri (born 1953; Arabic: محمد بكري‎, Hebrew: מוחמד בכרי‎) is a Palestinian actor and film director.[1]

Mohammad Bakri
Mohammad Bakri.jpg
Mohammad Bakri, 2010
Mohammad Bakri

(1953-11-27) 27 November 1953 (age 67)
Bi'ina, Israel
Years active1983-present

Personal life

Bakri was born in the village of Bi'ina in Israel. He went to elementary school in his hometown and received his secondary education in the nearby city of Akko. He studied acting and Arabic literature at Tel Aviv University in 1973 and graduated three years later.[1]

Bakri is married to Leila[2] and together they have six children. His sons Adam, Ziad and Saleh Bakri are also actors.

Acting and film career

Bakri began his professional acting career in with Habima Theatre in Tel Aviv, Haifa theater and al-Kasaba theater in Ramallah. His one-man plays, The Pessoptimist (1986), The Anchor (1991), Season of Migration to the North (1993) and Abu Marmar (1999) were performed in Hebrew and Arabic.

After a few years of acting in Palestinian and Israeli film, Bakri began to act in international films in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Canada and Italy. Bakri also directed two documentary films including the controversial Jenin, Jenin.


After Operation Defensive Shield in April 2002, Bakri interviewed residents of the Jenin refugee camp and produced a film based on their testimony, Jenin, Jenin. Some of the survivors described a massacre of hundreds of people.[3] After three showings the film was banned by the Israeli Film Board, which claimed it was not a documentary as it showed only one side of the story. Nevertheless, Bakri showed the film at the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem cinematheques and Arab theaters such as Al-Midan in Haifa.[4]

Bakri petitioned the High Court of Justice for prohibiting the screening of the film on the grounds that it distorted the truth. After a long fight, the court rejected the censor's decision. In 2004, the Israeli High Court finally upheld its earlier overturn of the ban, but joined the Film Board in labeling the film a "propagandistic lie," based on Israeli sources which acknowledged only 52 Palestinian deaths, 38 of whom Israeli sources argued were armed fighters.[3] In response to the court's criticism, Bakri stated that he had "seen hundreds of films that deny and ignore what happened to Palestinians, yet [people haven’t] complained or tried to ban any film."[5]

In 2007, five soldiers who fought in the Jenin refugee camp during Operation Defensive Shield in 2002 sued the cinamatheques in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem for screening the film in the midst of the ban, and sued Bakri for 2.5 million NIS for producing the film.[3] In July 2008 Bakri was acquitted of the charges.[6]

Jenin-Jenin earned two awards: the best film award at the Carthage International Film Festival, 2002, and the International Prize for Mediterranean Documentary Filmmaking and Reporting.

Israeli right-wing group Im Tirtzu organized a campaign against Bakri. Im Tirtzu opposed a production of Federico García Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba in which Bakri played the role of Bernarda. The play was produced in 2012 at Tel Aviv's Tzavta Theater. Israel's Academy of the Performing Arts was behind the production. While refusing Im Tirtzu's request to intervene, Culture Minister Limor Livnat criticized the judgment of the theater's administration.[7]



Year Title Role Director(s) Country Notes
1983 Hanna K. Selim Bakri Constantin Costa-Gavras Israel, France
1984 Beyond the Walls Issan Uri Barabash, Eran Preis Israel
1986 Esther Mordecai Amos Gitai Israel, UK
1987 Death Before Dishonor Gavril Terry Leonard U.S.
1988 Rami og Julie Rami's cousin Erik Clausen Denmark
1989 Ha Miklat Rashid Masharawi Israel Short film
1989 Foreign Nights Morod Izidore K. Musallam Canada
1991 Cup Final Ziad Eran Riklis Israel
1993 The Mummy Lives Alexatos Gerry O'Hara U.S.
1994 Beyond the Walls II Issan Uri Barabash Israel
1994 The Tale of the Three Jewels Aida's father Michel Khleifi Palestine, Belgium
1994 The Milky Way Mahmud Ali Nassar Israel
1995 Sous les pieds des femmes Amin 1996 Rachid Krim France
1996 Haifa Haifa Rashid Masharawi Palestine, Netherlands
1997 Desperado Square Avram Mandabon Benny Toraty Israel
2001 The Body Abu Yusef Jonas McCord U.S.
2001 The Olive Harvest Raeda's father Hannah Elias Palestine
2004 Private Mohammad B. Saverio Costanzo Italy
2005 Yasmine's song Abu Odeh Najwa Najjar Palestine Short film
2007 La Masseria Delle Allodole Nazim Paolo and Vittorio Taviani Italy
2010 Marriage and Other Disasters Bauer Nina Di Majo Italy
2011 The Salt Fisherman Ziad Bakri Palestine Short film
2013 Stay Human - The Reading Movie Narrator Fulvio Renzi Italy Chapter XI
2014 Tyrant Sheik Rashid Gideon Raff U.S. TV series
2016 Of Kings and Prophets Samuel Adam Cooper, Bill Collage U.S. TV series
2016 The Night Of Tariq James Marsh U.S. Miniseries
2017 The Bureau Shahannah Éric Rochant France 5 episodes, TV series
2017 Wajib Abu Shadi Annemarie Jacir Palestine
2017 American Assassin Ashani Michael Cuesta U.S.
2020 Homeland Abdu Qadir G’ulom U.S. 8 episodes, T.V. Series


Year Title Country Notes
1999 1948 Palestine, Israel Documentary film
2002 Jenin, Jenin Palestine Documentary film
2004 Since You Left Israel Documentary film
2009 Zahra Palestine Documentary film

Awards and recognition


  1. ^ a b Biography Mohammad Bakri Official Website.
  2. ^ New Face, Haaretz Magazine
  3. ^ a b c Izenberg, Dan (17 September 2007). "'Jenin, Jenin', now in court". The Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on 17 January 2021. Retrieved 17 January 2021.
  4. ^ Democracy Now News
  5. ^ Silencing Dissent in Israel Archived 3 July 2013 at 26 January 2012, Alternative News
  6. ^ Anderman, Nirit (16 February 2011). "I lie to save people". Haaretz. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  7. ^ Handelzalts, Michael (31 January 2012). "Behind the curtain of a right-wing campaign against an Israeli-Arab actor". Haaretz. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
  8. ^ a b IMBd

External links