Between Fences (Bein gderot)
Sunday, January 15, 2017, 4:00 p.m.
Dir. Avi Mograbi. Israel/France. 2016. 84 mins. In Hebrew, Tigrigna, Arabic and English with English subtitles. In the middle of the Negev Desert in Israel, African asylum seekers languish indefinitely in a detention facility. With the help of theater director Chen Alon and the active participation of filmmaker Avi Mograbi, they begin to use Theater of the Oppressed techniques to express their experiences, thoughts, and frustrations. What leads men and women to leave everything behind and go towards the unknown? Why does Israel, land of the refugees, refuse to accept people exiled by war, genocide and persecution? And can these artists—and by extension the audience—put themselves in the refugee’s shoes? Mograbi’s reflective, reflexive, and surprisingly exhilarating documentary is not just a call for empathy and understanding, but an unapologetic act of the same. Preceded by A Short Family Film (Igor Bezinovic, 2016, 20 mins) Marica is a voluble older woman eager to open her home and share her life with a visiting documentary crew. But it does not take long for her story to open up into some surprising territory, including a self-reenacted altercation involving her daughter-in-law and a kitchen knife. Staring out through his sober yet stylized frames, Croatian director Igor Bezinovic rides the line between hilarity and mortal unease.
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