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?

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. Immediately after a Palestinian man signs an online petition, he is thrown into a panic-inducing spiral of self-doubt. This is the basis for Mahdi Fleifel's I Signed the Petition. Over the course of a conversation with an understanding friend, he analyses, deconstructs and interprets the meaning of his choice to publicly support the cultural boycott of Israel. In Avi Mograbi's Once I Entered a Garden, the filmmaker seems to fantasize an older Middle East, one in which communities are not divided along ethnic and religious lines; a Middle East in which even metaphorical borders had no place. Chantal Akerman's masterpiece Down There sees Akerman spend a brief period in an apartment by the sea in Tel Aviv, Israel. From her apartment, she spies on the neighboring apartments and films people living their ordinary daily lives.

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