A film made on the two sides of the huge Security Wall currently build by the Israeli army. A cinematographic fresco about the absurdity and the madness of the israeli-palestinian conflict, proposed by a director who happens to be as much a Jew as an Arab.
The construction of this wall of concrete slabs is filmed, and what takes place off-screen is eloquent. The very fact of filming attracts passers-by who talk to Simone Bitton in Hebrew or Arabic, depending on where they’re from. The wall has been erected and has come to symbolise the Israeli-Arab conflict. We watch, and much is said. We hear how it’s ruined the inhabitants’ lives. It’s a physical position that structures this film: facing this wall that we look at stubbornly, next to it or behind it, words are provoked by this concrete screen that blocks the view and blocks life. The film follows the wall’s journey through Israel, how it imprisons villages, separating them from their lands, forcing people to climb it with their children, risking their lives to go to work…The obstinacy of not letting go of the central figure of the wall gives us a cinematic experience of the violence of an overwhelming governmental choice, which a politician in the film explains. It brings to mind that other wall, the Berlin Wall, and the wall between Mexico and the USA. The movie is strongly determined yet powerless before the brutality that this endless monument – an ode to hatred – embodies.
Simone Bitton was born in Morocco in 1955 and studied Film at the IDHEC in Paris. She has dual French and Moroccan nationality and divides her time between Paris and Rabat. She is an Associate Professor at the Université de Paris 8 and runs directing workshops at the Ateliers Varan. She has directed around fifteen films and series for television and cinema. From historical archive films (“Palestine, Histoire d'une terre”) to film essays (“Mur”) via investigations (“Rachel”), political biopics (“Ben Barka, l'équation marocaine”) and portraits of artists (“Les Grandes voix de la musique arabe”, “Mahmoud Darwich” and “Le Terre comme la langue”), all her movies display human and professional commitment to a better understanding of the current affairs, history and cultures of North Africa and the Middle East. Her latest feature “Ziraya” was released in cinemas on 1st December 2021.