7.9/10
543
5 user 11 critic

Machssomim (2003)

Documentary filmmaker Yoav Shamir's depiction of the checkpoints that the Israel Defense Forces man in the Palestinian Authority.

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Documentary filmmaker Yoav Shamir's depiction of the checkpoints that the Israel Defense Forces man in the Palestinian Authority.

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2003 (Israel)  »

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Marvellously intelligent, non-partisan film to come out of Israel - a contribution to understanding on all sides
28 August 2004 | by See all my reviews

An even less 'sensational' take on the Islam-American conflict - a film that simply provides a fly on the wall account of various checkpoints on the Palestine-Israel border. Miles from anywhere, people travel frequently, walking long distances, to go to hospitals or to work. The Israeli guards like to 'show them' and routinely harass them by making them stand in the blazing sun, driving rain, or deep snow for many hours (eg up to ten hours) before returning their papers and often sending them home. They are polite, but admit to the cameras that this is how they deal with people - force them to stand in the rain. It could almost be a laid back Palestinian expose of what is happening at the checkpoints except - and here is the double-whammy - it is made by an Israeli, with Israeli funding - and it has been snapped up and promoted by the Israelis in cinemas but also the Palestinians - what is perhaps even more shocking (according to the director at the Edinburgh International Film Festival) it is now being used by the Israeli forces as training material for their guards. The filmmaker has certainly got his message across to a wide audience.

I asked director Yoav Shamir (at the Edinburgh International Film Festival Screening) what his next project would be - he replied that he is making a film about anti-semitism - and it's backlash now the Jews have 'power'. Meeting such an intelligent and politically sensitive Jew makes us all wonder how there are Jews in power in Israel that let their country - with American help and Palestinian reaction - get into such a bl**dy mess.


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