Ever since 17-year-old Rachel Levy, an Israeli, was killed four years ago in Jerusalem by a Palestinian suicide bomber, her mother Abigail has found hardly a moment's peace. Levy's killer ... See full summary »
Ever since 17-year-old Rachel Levy, an Israeli, was killed four years ago in Jerusalem by a Palestinian suicide bomber, her mother Abigail has found hardly a moment's peace. Levy's killer was Ayat al-Akhras, also 17, a schoolgirl from a Palestinian refugee camp several miles away. The two young women looked unbelievably alike. TO DIE IN JERUSALEM unabashedly explores the Palestinian-Israeli conflict through the personal loss of two families. The film's most revealing moment is in an emotionally charged meeting between the mothers of the girls, presenting the most current reflection of the conflict as seen thru their eyes. Written by
The filming crew did not have good access to the occupied territories, so filming of the Israeli side dominated. I was struck by the nearly completely opposite points of view of the mothers. The Israeli mother lost a child who had the possibility of a life of tremendous happiness. The Palestinian mother lost a child who had only the possibility of a life of privation and despair. With such completely different viewpoints, any meeting had no real chance of any meeting of the minds. The word "peace" did not have the same meaning to each of them. Peace to the Palestinian was freedom. Peace to the Israeli was security. With such an abyss, is this sort of film really worth much? I finished with the feeling that I had watched pointless propaganda -- both sides were unconvincing.
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