"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.


Monday, January 12, 2015

Bedouin of the Negev

Invisibles, directed by Mushon Salmona, tells a tragic story about contemporary issues between Arabs and Jews in the Negev -- relations with the government authorities, problems of land confiscation and house demolitions.   

The film opens with Ra'id, a young Bedouin man, as he is receiving his army discharge.  He has decided  to return to his village, somewhere between Dimona and Beersheba, a small village -- about 20 poured-concrete little houses.  His father has sold his herd of goats so that his son will have the money he needs to get married and to get started in life.  Ra'id, however, dreams of opening a restaurant in a tent off the main road, where Jews would gather for good Bedouin food and atmosphere.   Ra'id's father wants him to marry Mariam, a local school teacher.  However, Ra'id finds his cousin's fun-loving Jewish girlfriend much more compelling.

Although he seems to be a rather quiet fellow, the viewer can gather bits and pieces about Ra'id's identity, about belonging in society, how he sees himself in the future, and how he gets involved with his good-for-nothing cousin.  

According to a radio interview with the filmmaker, who grew up in Beersheba, the Bedouin community in the Negev now participates in many areas of life in Beersheba.  Whereas once it was just commerce, now there is also Arab-Jewish exchange in the areas of education, culture and entertainment, and this is reflected in the film. 

Invisibles is available from Transfax.  Transfax also produced and distributes Vasermil, the first feature by the same filmmaker, Mushon Salmona.

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