Slingshot Hip Hop

Institute History

  • 2008 Sundance Film Festival


A new generation slings rhymes instead of rocks as Palestinian rappers form alternative voices of resistance within the Israeli-Palestinian struggle. Interweaving multiple stories of young Palestinians in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank, filmmaker Jackie Reem Salloum spotlights a vibrant hip-hop scene as emerging artists discover rap and employ it as a means to surmount age-old schisms deepened by occupation and poverty.

Tamer, Joker, and Suhell are the charismatic artists of DAM, the first group to put Palestinian hip-hop on the map. They struggle to produce an album despite crushing poverty, progressing from their initial awkward recording attempts to triumphant sold-out shows in Europe. As politics increasingly informs their art, these young rappers evolve into community leaders and activists for social change. Trapped in Gaza, facing ongoing military attacks, the group PR (Palestinian Rapperz) hope someday to meet their fellow rappers, but separation walls and internal checkpoints prohibit access. Surprisingly, Palestinian hip-hop is not just for the boys. Female soloist Abeer and the group Arapeyat are redefining gender roles and shaking cultural traditions.

Devastated by decades of conflict, yet armed with the music of revolution, rappers portray the hopes and dreams of a new generation of Palestinians defying the boundaries that separate them. Slingshot Hip Hop is a rousing parable of the Palestinian struggle propelled by an American art form gone global.

— David Courier

Screening Details

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