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Beyond the Walls (1984)

Me'Ahorei Hasoragim (original title)
R | | Drama | 15 February 1985 (USA)
In Israel's Central Prison, the security officer is corrupt, supplying drugs and stirring the hatred between Jewish and Arab prisoners to his advantage. Uri, in for 12 years for armed ... See full summary »


Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins. See more awards »
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Credited cast:
Issan (as Mohammed Bakri)
Boaz Sharabi ...
Adib Jahschan
Roberto Pollack ...
Yechiel (as Roberto Pollak)
Haim Shinar ...
Naffi Salach
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yussuf Abed A'Nur ...
Avi Abuav ...
Ali Al'Azaari ...
Eliezer Albala ...
Muhamad Ali ...
Issam's Brother
Song contest host


In Israel's Central Prison, the security officer is corrupt, supplying drugs and stirring the hatred between Jewish and Arab prisoners to his advantage. Uri, in for 12 years for armed robbery, and Issan, in for 50 years for PLO violence, command the respect of their cells. When the Arabs are framed for the murder of a Jewish prisoner and a young inmate commits suicide rather than lie about what happened, Uri and Issan form an unlikely partnership, leading the security block on a strike. Prison officials try to break it. In the background are Uri's daughter and Issan's wife, women of beauty and passion who embody the distance from inside a cell to the outside. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Plot Keywords:

prison | israel | See All (2) »




R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

15 February 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Beyond the Law  »

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Featured in A History of Israeli Cinema (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

uncompromising cell block melodrama
7 November 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Even without the giveaway English title ('Beyond the Walls') it's obvious this powerful Israeli prison drama is only a microcosm of a much a much larger conflict. But what's surprising is that so political a film can also be so impartial: the anonymous penitentiary is not just a setting where Arabs and Jews are forced to coexist, but also a place where no one is innocent, where PLO bombers rub shoulders with Israeli rapists and drug addicts. Because of the uncompromising subject matter it's not always an easy film to watch, but director Uri Barbash should be commended for making a strong statement without allowing it to dominate the storyline. The political overtones legitimize (and humanize) what might have been just another cellblock melodrama, suggesting that hatred may be politically expedient (the authorities encourage it to keep the prisoners at each other's throats), but mutual survival depends on cooperation, in this case by a joint Arab/Israeli hunger strike.

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