Simone Bitton, director of this thoughtful documentary, was born in Morocco to Jewish parents. She speaks Arabic, French, and Hebrew, identifies as both an Arab and a Jew, and finds herself entirely conflicted by the barrier being erected along the border between Israel and Gaza. The film is essentially rumination upon the wall, as both a metaphor and a very real manifestation of the regions turmoil. Bittons camera lingers upon its construction and immense presence while interviews with those it effects-on both sides-establish the many ways the wall touches those who live in its shadow. Many of the interviewees refuse to be filmed, afraid of the consequences of speaking their minds, and only their voices and names are heard. Ironies abound, including the fact that the wall, still under construction in many areas, is being built in large part by Arabs. When Bitton asks the foreman why they would want to build a wall around themselves, he blithely states that its good for them, it gives them jobs and keeps them fed; the question of the walls consequences is deftly avoided. Similarly, the Minister of Defence delivers Bitton a well-constructed line, glibly acknowledging the walls environmental toll before asserting that its all the Palestinians fault. Meanwhile, civilians on both sides of the barrier make known their belief that the construction is very much a waste of money, and at two million dollars per kilometre, its hard not to agree. Many are dismissive of the possibility that so much strife could actually be placated by this simple measure. Noting that the building of walls will not solve anything, the residents of this area express their wish to instead break them down, to end their lives of fear and hatred, in a poignant rendering of daily experience in the shadow of conflict.
Release Date: 22 May 2006
Certificate: TBA - To Be Announced