Abu Laila used to be a judge, but because the government doesn't have the means to renew his assignment he is forced to be a taxi driver. On the day his daughter Laila becomes seven years ... See full summary »
Set during the current Intifada, this documentary follows four Palestinian families living in Dheisheh Refugee Camp near Bethlehem. Fadi is 13 and cares for his 4 younger brothers, the ... See full summary »
In the wake of Israel's 2006 bombardment of Lebanon, a determined woman finds her way into the country convincing a taxi cab driver to take a risky journey around the scarred region in search of her sister and her son.
Nada Abou Farhat,
In the heart of Jaffa, Reuven's garage is a family business. His daughter Mali and his son Meir, as well as Toufik, a young Palestinian, work there. No one suspects that Mali and Toufik ... See full summary »
Suleiman, an eleven year old Palestinian boy, lives in a small village in the Gaza strip. Every month, he goes with his father to the ruins of a destroyed village. Though he doesn't ... See full summary »
Abdallah El Akal,
Hussein Yassin Mahajne,
A Palestinian family with five children lives outside town, near Israeli settlements. Samia, the wife, wants to leave; so does one teen son. Mohammad, the patriarch, is adamant that he is staying. Two of his adolescent children want to fight. His is the passive aggression of non-violent witness. Israeli soldiers burst into the home, taking over the second floor. At night, the family is locked in the living room. We see the effects of the occupation on the children and on the marriage. Through the eyes of Miriam, the older daughter, we watch the soldiers from her hiding place. Jamal, the eldest son, sets a trap with a grenade. Characters call upon Allah. Chaos and death are close. Written by
Any films that explore fact-based story lines pertaining to the ever-tense Israeli-Palestinian conflict and manage to convey both the weaknesses and the dignities of both Palestinians and Israelis without partisanship, ought not to be interesting and uplifting. "Private", the story of a privileged Palestinian family of 7 (3 boys, 2 girls and their parents) whose house is suddenly invaded and occupied by Israeli soldiers, ought to be both interesting and uplifting. I found it eminently interesting (even exciting), but, sadly not too uplifting. I felt that the screenwriter strove perhaps a bit too hard to avoid blaming either side. To be sure, the performances of those playing the parts of the Palestinian family were beyond reproach and the same can be said of the Israeli actor leading the soldiers. No mean feat when you consider that these parts were played by Jewish and Arabic actors. I was especially impressed with the two youngest children - a boy and a girl both affected in wildly different ways by the course of events they are forced to endure. While "Private" does eventually strive to convey the utter senselessness of the Israeli-Palestinian war and the possibility of hope for a future where violence need not be resorted to, the sad reality of the true story upon which this film is based, impedes any likelihood that you will leave the cinema (or your favourite movie-watching seat in your house) feeling a sense of hope when the end credits start to roll. I saw this film at the Toronto International Film Festival. I chose to see it because from the basic plot outline I read, I was hoping for a reprise of the kind of film going experience I had watching the Shapiro/Goldberg/Bolado docu "Promises" during the 2001 Film Festival here, which in fact was vastly superior to "Private". I will conclude by mentioning that I have rated this film 7/10.
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