To Die In Jerusalem
This isn't a movie, it is a documentary. I'm currently watching it for the 2nd time on HBO. It's really interesting.
To Die In Jerusalem explores the Palestinian-Israeli conflict through the personal loss of two families. 17-year-old Rachel Levy, an Israeli, was killed by a suicide mission four years ago in Jerusalem by a Palestinian, Ayat al-Akhras (also 17-year-old.) After four years, Rachel's mother Abigail has hardly found any peace and decides to search out Ayat's parents and have a meeting with them.
The Palestinian and Israeli conflict has been waging for an extremely long time, I don't see an end in sight. After watching this documentary, I'm sad to say it only cemented my belief of this even more. I don't know what I was looking for, a resolution and positive, I guess.
It's difficult for me, a 20-year-old girl to understand why a 17-year old girl would go on a suicide mission. One of the unbelievable things about this documentary is that the two girls where practically identical in physical appearance, and I think the girls were only a couple of months apart in age.
The problem is that the film crew did not have good access to the occupied territories, so filming of the Israeli side dominated. I was struck by the nearly completely opposite points of view of the mothers. The Israeli mother lost a child who had the possibility of a life of tremendous happiness. The Palestinian mother lost a child who had only the possibility of a life of privation and despair. With such different viewpoints, any meeting of these mothers had no real chance of "meeting of the minds." Also, the world 'peace' did not have the same meaning for the mothers. Peace to the Israeli was security. Peace to Palestine was freedom.
With such an abyss, is this sort of film really worth much? I finished with the feeling that I had watched pointless propaganda -- both sides were unconvincing.
Though, It was still interesting to see the two sides of very difficult story and conflict.
The film's most revealing moment is in an emotionally charged meeting between the mothers of the girls, presenting the most current reflection of the conflict as seen thru their eyes.
I would recommend this documentary to anyone. Just don't have high expectations; my problem was I went in to watching this film that there would be a resolution and a “happy ending.” When watching this film I would recommend just listening to the families stories and not excepting anything more. It was fascinating to see a very personal perspective a situation that is constantly on the news.
To Die in Jerusalem can be seen on HBO. I think for the rest of the month.
If you want to rent it, To Die in Jerusalem (2007) was directed by Hilla Medalia