Arafat – the Olive Branch and the Gun

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Yasser Arafat was one of the world’s most hated, feared, and loved men. In the documentary film Arafat –the Olive Branch and the Gun, a biography of Yasser Arafat is shown depicting him as the leader he was and the development of the Palestinian issue. Yasser Arafat’s life and upbringing is depicted shrouded in myths and legends, half-truths and lies. Many times it was his loyal followers who created the mythology surrounding their leader. In other cases it was Arafat himself who wrote his own memoirs, always alleging for example that he was born in Jerusalem, something which the documentary undermined.

The film is built upon unique interviews with those who were closest to him, friends and enemies alike. From childhood in Jerusalem to the upbringing in Cairo; from the war of 1967 to the exile in Jordan and Beirut; from the return to Gaza in 1994 and the continued crises situations at the beginning of 2000 and finally: an interview with Arafat himself, at the very time of the Israeli siege on his headquarters in Ramallah.


The film has been screened in countries all over the world and has won international acclaim and distinction.

  • Winner of  a Gold Award at Worldfest Houston 2003
  • Winner of a Bronze World Medal at the New York Festivals 2002
  • Winner of a Certificate of Merit at the Chicago International Television Awards 2003


Documentary film from 2002
Directors: Peter Löfgren and Folke Rydén
Producer: Castro
Budget: 1 million dollars