"World Cinema: Israel"

My book, "World Cinema: Israel" (originally published in 1996) is available from Amazon on "Kindle", with an in-depth chapter comparing and analyzing internationally acclaimed Israeli films up to 2010.

Want to see some of the best films of recent years? Just scroll down to "best films" to find listings of my recommendations.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Unrecognized Bedouin Villages of the Northern Negev

Destiny Hills גבעות גורל is a documentary portrait of one man, a man of determination and faith, who has opened his tent and his life to the camera. Muhammed and his family are living on their family lands in an "unrecognized Bedouin village" in the Negev. We meet his wife, we watch them go to Jerusalem to the Knesset to protest their situation, we see him with his children, we watch him praying, and we are witness to the burial of his father.

Previously, the family lived at Lachiya, a town built by the government in the 1950's in order to concentrate the Bedouin in one area. At that time, the tribal elders agreed to move to permanent housing at Lachiya. But the town is made-up of closely-built little concrete houses and there was no employment and as a result, the place breeds crime. Therefore, Muhammed and his friends and their families have moved back to the land.

In order to earn some money, Muhammed works as a construction worker in Tel Aviv but he would rather work his own land. He has goats, but agriculture is very difficult in these villages where they have to go and carry in their water in jugs and they have no permission to work the land.

Muhammed is a loving father, with a wife who works hard keeping their tent and cooking area clean. They live with a small group of families who have together erected a cluster of tents and some small houses. The tension rises when the government bulldozers come and demolish everything they have built. So they rebuild and soon the bulldozers come again to destroy. Muhammed builds a tree-house for his boys, which is also destroyed. With great determination and love for his sons, and with a fair amount of bitterness, Muhammed builds it again, and again.

Destiny Hills, directed by Leeor Kaufman (2009, 75 min.) is distributed by Claudia Levin at Claudius Films in Tel Aviv, claudia.levin@claudiusfilms.com

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