Sat April 29, 2017
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
Advertisement

Arab Israeli film "Bar Bahar" faces backlash

Arab Israeli film

JERUSALEM: The culture clash in "Bar Bahar" starts off when Nur, a veiled and conservative Muslim, moves into a flat with two other Arab Israeli women and sees their drug-taking, party-going lives.

But for its director, the real shock of the film, which opened last month in Israel, has been the controversy it has whipped up, even death threats on social media.

Maysaloun Hamoud, herself an Arab, always hoped her first feature film would hit hard.

In its two hours, the Galilee-born filmmaker, 35, tackles almost all the taboos of Arab Israeli society: drugs, alcohol, homosexuality.

The film has already been released in the United States, under the title "In Between", and it won three prizes at the San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain last year.

US magazine Variety called it a "compelling" drama and The Hollywood Reporter trumpeted it as a "sparkling, taboo-breaking first feature".

The film company has not released ticket sale numbers but Hamoud said there had been a lot of feedback, mostly positive but some less so. The response from Umm al-Fahm has been particularly sharp.

The municipality issued a statement condemning a film as being "without the slightest element of truth" and barring it from being screened there. They insisted, however, that they were happy to support "meaningful" art, but did not reply to a request for an interview.

Hamoud as well as her actresses have received death threats.

Bar Bahar, literally meaning "land and sea" in Arabic, translates as "neither here, nor there" in Hebrew.

For its director it aims to be "the voice of a generation" of young Arab Israelis who feel trapped between cultures.

Making up around 18 percent of Israel´s population, the 1.4 million Arab Israelis are descended from Palestinians who remained on their land after Israel was established in 1948.

Many identify as Palestinian but feel torn between identities -- saying they experience discrimination and racism living and working in major Israeli cities.

I´m not exaggerating, every scene is realistic," Hammoud insisted.

Hamoud chose to set the film in Tel Aviv, regarded the most tolerant and liberal city in Israel, to make a point that even there racism against Arabs is prevalent.

Advertisement

Comments

Advertisement
Advertisement