On the Border of Documentary, on the Border of the Gaza Strip

To trace back the beginning of the complicated relation between Israel and Palestine is not a simple task even for international experts. However, how do world-renowned and acclaimed documentarists see the long-lasting dispute with moments of fragile peace alternating with acts of aggression? Is their camera a silent observer or a holder of strong political opinion? Take a trip to the border of the Gaza Strip while staying safe in front of your computer screens for two weeks from Monday, September 8 to Sunday, September 21 for free!

To Israeli-born director Eyal Sivan, the tense events on the border between the Israeli and the Palestinian state have become a life-long film theme. With an openly critical view, the director explores the differing perspectives from which Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs perceive their own as well as their common history. Passed on by tradition and emerging in the slightest details, the complex problem of the inability to find common ground is followed by Sivan in various fields of life; in the systems of law, education and art.

The confrontation of two different perspectives also lies in the core of one of the director’s latest films COMMON STATE, POTENTIAL CONVERSATION, presenting 20 interviews with representatives of various groups of Israeli and Palestinian citizens, including local politicians, lawyers, artists and teenagers, in which the deeply rooted conflict crystallizes on the backdrop of simply filmed frames. The development of the conflict as well as of Sivan’s works can be followed in the second presented film made by the filmmaker, an early documentary AQABAT JABER, PEACE WITH NO RETURN? In the film, the director revisits the place of his first shooting, the Palestinian refugee camp Aqabat Jaber, to follow the story of generations which have only heard of their original home.

Other films by the filmmaker which are not included in the special event are available on the separate site of the director’s retrospective.

British documentary film star Sean McAllister, holder of numerous awards, including the Special Jury Prize of the prestigious Sundance Film Festival, has contributed to the film selection with his film SETTLERS. With a camera wedged in the intimate space of the protagonists, he introduces two remarkable personalities from Jerusalem; politically engaged Palestinian Ali jailed by the Israeli state and quirky member of the orthodox Jewish community Dov. Both love the city they live in. Yet they both feel that there is not enough room for both of them.

The imaginary documentary trip to the border of the explosive region is wrapped up by the French film VIDEOMAPPINGS: AIDA, PALESTINE which is surprising for its direct visual form. The German-born director Till Roeskens employs the visual language of the protagonists in the form of sketches of the Palestinian refugee camp Aida accompanied by the commentary of a young man who has failed to cross the border and one of the witnesses of the camp’s founding. The film has won the Grand Prix at the French festival FID Marseille in 2009.

**What are the political borders documentary can cross? What is the border policy between Israel and Palestine? Watch our documentary selection from September 8 to 21 at DAFilms.com for free! **

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