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27th March
2015
written by Mad Cow

Israel, directed by Eran Riklis

Mad Cow’s Rating: cowbells4

The existence of widespread¬† blatant discrimination and distain in Israel for its Arab citizens depicted in this movie needn’t be questioned. Note that in the recent Israeli election Prime Minister Netanyahu urged Jewsih voters to vote because Arab citizens were being bussed to the polls “en masse” and would “distort” the outcome of the elections. It’s important to non-Israelis to understand what life is like for Arabs in Israel.

We follow Eyad (Tawfeek Barhom), born to a devote Muslim family of modest income in a small village. His father (Ali Suliman) has always participated in pro-Arab activities and Eyad admires that immensely. But his dad has a family now and wants Eyad, who is intellectually gifted, to advance in life and represent the Arab community with his brilliance. He gets a scholarship with the a boarding high school in Jerusalem where he faces many insults but also friendship with other Jewish students. Doing “community service” he meets Yonaton (Michael Moshonov), who has muscular dystrophy, and Yonaton’s wise mother (Yael Abecassis). Yonaton becomes his best friend and he falls in love with a Jewish girl.

I am still pondering the decisions Eyad made in this drama. Is this all about love, loyalty, politics, or just everyday life? This excellent film asks important questions and reminds us that life in Israel couldn’t be more complex.

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