Monday, November 6, 2017

Other Israel Film Festival Spotlight: Desert Wounds

I’m delighted to be returning for the sixth time to cover the Other Israel Film Festival, which features a diverse crop of Israeli and Palestinian cinema and is hosted by the JCC Manhattan. The 11th Annual Other Israel Film Festival takes place November 2nd-9th, 2017.

Desert Wounds
Directed by Nili Dotan
Festival Information

The topic of refugees is very hot-button on the moment, especially in the United States, as saving the lives of those cast out of or endangered in their own countries must be balanced with security questions about the place they are entering. This hourlong documentary spotlights two Christian women from Sudan and Eritrea who come to Israel after escaping their native lands. The experience they find is a complicated one, filled with hurdles but also including some surprising and positive examples of hospitality. Watching those who have come as refugees speak to each other in Hebrew and watch Hebrew television excitedly indicates the warmer benefits of living in the country, while the constant knowledge that deportation could be imminent, especially in the wake of diplomatic talks between Israel and emerging nation South Sudan, serves to ground their experience. This is a film that serves as the beginning of a conversation in its showcase of two women whose specific journeys can be seen as representative of a worldwide phenomenon.

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