‘Fauda’ Slammed By Netflix Users For Its Controversial Editing

The Netflix series Fauda, attempts to fairly examine the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a variety of viewpoints, at least according to the show’s creators. Lior Raz and Avi Issacharoff are Israeli-born creators of the series, currently on Netflix , and based the show on their real-life experiences with the Middle Eastern conflict. The word “fauda” is Arabic for “chaos,” and there has been a fair amount of passionate discourse surrounding it. This discourse is mainly concerned with the representations of Israel and Palestine, as well as the effect of color editing on the show. 

Production still with a sepia tone and a man with cuts on his face looking through a car window with rain on the glass
Netflix’s Fauda

What is Fauda about? 

Fauda follows the experiences of Israeli Defense Force (IDF) soldiers as they attempt to hunt and apprehend a terrorist named “The Panther.” The show has run for three seasons and has introduced elements of spy thrillers and family drama. The special force is tasked with hunting and killing terrorist cells in the West Bank while attempting to show a more sympathetic version of Palestinian ideals. Raz and Issacharoff based the show off Raz’s own experiences while in the IDF. Raz also stars in the show as IDF member Doron. The show attempts to showcase the tenuous relationship between the countries of Israel and Palestine in a way that is fairly representative of both sides of the conflict. This type of representation is not common in media that deals with the situation. Despite the show’s attempt to be balanced, it is still mired in various controversies. 

Controversies surrounding Fauda and fan reactions 

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When a television program discusses a nuanced and complicated real-world topic like Fauda, there is bound to be controversy amongst fans and critics alike. According to The Guardian, the show has representation issues, despite efforts at fairness. Israelis and Palestinians have differing opinions concerning the show. Palestinian journalist Ziyad Abul Hawa said that “If the writers are all Israeli, no matter how good the intentions are, they are not realistically showing what is happening in Palestinian areas.” Other shows, such as Homelandhave received similar criticisms. Raz has defended his show, saying that it has helped bring an understanding between Middle Eastern countries. Raz said about Fauda, “It’s a TV show. It’s meant to entertain. But I can tell you that when I talk with Israeli right-wingers, a lot of them tell me that this is the first time they feel empathy for the other side.” Still, from Raz’s own comments it is clear that the “sides” are extremely divided. 

How light editing can impact television viewers 

The color and lighting of a motion picture can be used to emotionally influence the viewer. People hold an emotional connection to various colors, such as red is representative of anger, blue is sadness, green is envy, and so on. Fauda frequently uses a yellow-tinted filter while showing the nation of Palestine. To some viewers, this seems to be an attempt to remove the vibrancy of the country, and portray it as war-torn and dangerous. This tactic is commonly used in shows that are set in the Middle East, but Fauda is unique because of the accuracy the show claims to have. Many fans are angered by the use of this editing choice. 

One Twitter user posted a picture of a screenshot of the show alongside a picture of the city without any editing, with the caption “Palestine on Netflix vs. Palestine in Reality” The pictures are strikingly different. The show provides an intriguing look at the conflict and certainly hits on a hot-button topic.