Shahida – Brides of Allah

Brides of Allah

Natalie Assouline

Israel 2008

08.02. 17:30 Arsenal 1 (Eng. subtitles)
09.02. 13:00 Cubix 7 (Eng. subtitles)
11.02. 17:00 CineStar 8 (Eng. subtitles)

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A women's prison in Israel. Palestinian women who had planned or taken part in a suicide bombing are held here. The Israeli filmmaker questions the women about the circumstances and reasons for their acts. She gets surprisingly close to them, speaks calmly with them, questions them at their level, without reproach. It is like suddenly getting the opportunity to be face to face with these radical women, getting answers to pressing questions that had seemed nearly impossible to answer.

But the Arab women, almost all of them well educated, many of them mothers of several children, don't really reveal to the camera what lies behind their acts. Nonetheless, the film is a shattering document of the different realities in which people live. The meeting of a young inmate with her four children is as moving as one mother's separation from her little son, born in prison, who is now being taken to live with the father. One of the women doesn't wear a headscarf and it seems like some sort of fluke that she landed in this prison. Her thesis is that the women were running away from their problems and that's why they ended up committing a suicide attack. This film gives no answers. But the questions that it poses linger on in the mind.

Gabriela Seidel

 

Production: Pie Films Ltd., Tel Aviv; Ephrati Productions, Tel Aviv

Screenplay: Natalie Assouline

Camera: Natalie Assouline, Gonen Glazer, Asher Ben Yair, Avigayil Sperber

Format: DigiBeta PAL (filmed on DV/MiniDV), Color

Running time: 75 min.

Languages: Hebrew, Arabic