On the Side of the Road
Filmmaker Lia Tarachansky is a Jew who was born in Kiev. When she was six her family moved to the Ariel settlement in the West Bank. Her mother wanted to contribute to Zionism, Lia said.
Tarachansky turns the camera on herself as she revisits settlements and interviews current residents. She says her goal is just to examine and narrate.
"Growing up in Israel, I learned that 1948 was a miraculous victory for us," Lia says in the film. "I never heard about the people who lived here before and definitely not about expulsions." When she searched for veterans of that war, most refused to speak with her.
A friend introduced her to Amnon Noiman, a veteran of the 1948 war. His story particularly resonated with our Witness Palestine Film Series audience. He said in part:
"We came to inherit the land from the hands of strangers. And we inherited it, and he who inherits the land, dispossesses others. That's why we didn't let them return. At the time, I didn't see anything wrong with it. Like everyone, I was educated into it and I followed through with it faithfully. And I was told things I don't want to mention – I did them without the least bit of a doubt. Without thinking twice. And now, not just now, but for 50 or 60 years, it's been eating me up. But what's done is done. And it was done by order."
Themes covered include:
- While Jews celebrate the anniversary of May 14, 1948 as independence day, Israeli Arabs and Palestinian refugees morn it as the Nakba
- The Knesset passed the "Nakba Law" that forbids one to morn on the day commemorating Israel's founding
- There are other "anti-democratic" laws or proposals
- Some Jews are hostile to Arab Israelis
- Some Zionist fighters from 1948 and 1967 now regret their actions against Palestinians
- Some people in power try to conceal the history and former existence of destroyed villages
- Palestinians aren't permitted to return to their former land in Israel; Israelis aren't permitted to visit the West Bank (referring perhaps to area A)
- Some Israeli Jews protest the Nakba Law and seek to make the history known
- Lia Tarachansky, director; via Skype
- Monday, November 17, 6:45 p.m.
- The Little Theatre, 240 East Avenue, Rochester NY
- Film run time: 1 hour 22 minutes
- Style: documentary
- Languages: English plus Arabic and Hebrew with English subtitles
- Format: video projection from DVD
- Year released: 2013
- Tickets WPFS pass or $8 student, $10 others from The Little box office
More information is available on the official web site.