Our Rating: ★★★★☆
L Factor: Lesbian Film
Short Take: Looks at the Israeli Palestinian conflict from the eyes of a gay couple and a lesbian couple in which one of the partners is Israeli and the other Palestinian.
Alternate Titles:
Year: 2005
Duration: 85 min
Language: Canada/English
MPAA: Not Rated
Director: Elle Flanders
Writer: Elle Flanders
Starring: Elle Flanders
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+Alt Tags+This unique documentary from Israeli Canadian filmmaker Elle Flanders looks at the Israeli Palestinian conflict from the eyes of a gay couple and a lesbian couple in which one of the partners is Israeli and the other Palestinian. It’s a very personal look at the human side of the situation, all from people who are very critical of the military state of Israel. Flanders intercuts interviews with clips from her grandparents’ home movies, taken when they arrived in Israel in 1950 and took part in building the nation.

We first meet Ezra, an Israeli who often delivers supplies to Bedouin communities struggling to keep their land from settlers. The son of Iraqi Jews, he speaks both Hebrew and Arabic, and although an Israeli, he is very aware that he is not a European Jew. His boyfriend Selim is a Muslim Palestinian who was sentenced to a seven year jail term at the age of fifteen for throwing rocks and burning tires. He lives with Ezra in Jerusalem illegally, walking long distances to get back in after being removed many times.

The film’s lesbian couple met at a protest. Edit is a Jewish Israeli who is a social worker at a Tel Aviv rape crisis center, a feminist who sees connections between all types of violence. She works politically against the militaristic country she sees Israel becoming. Her girlfriend Samira is a Muslim Palestinian and an oncological nurse in a large Israeli hospital. Politically, she is active in anti-occupation groups primarily with Israelis.

Their relationship can sometimes be difficult, and we see their different reactions to Israel’s Independence Day – a day of grief and mourning for Samira, but a day for Edit to recognize Israel as the country that saved her family’s lives. After explaining that she doesn’t expect Edit to apologize for army killings of civilians, Samira also doesn’t apologize for the suicide bombings. ‘This is the situation. It’s shit.’ (AB)