Kalandia - a Checkpoint Story

Skrevet den 20-01-2010 19:19:05 af Tue Steen Müller

Kalandia - a Checkpoint Story

This is one of those films that stays in your mind. Not because it is a high-quality visual experience, not at all, almost on the contrary, but because here is a filmmaker, who has committed herself to act by doing what she finds important: documenting a daily expression of intolerance and humiliation of human beings in a conflict zone. As it takes place on the road between Ramallah and East Jerusalem.

For six years the Israeli filmmaker Neta Efroney went to the Kalandia checkpoint on the West Bank, stood there, observed what happened, and created a relationship to some of the Palestinians who had to pass the checkpoint daily to go to work or to school. Children being taken through mud, looking at soldiers with machine guns and seeing their parents being searched or shouted at. What wounds will these children have when they grow up? They are taken through these kind of turning gates that stops and leaves you stuck for a moment until it is your turn to continue your journey to do the work in Jerusalem in the country Israel, where many of them they have a citizenship.

What an achievement of the filmmaker to use this method! She continues from the very first moment till the end where the wall is built that separates Palestine and Israel. (The wall that the Israelis call "the security wall"!). She talks to the people from behind her camera, also to an older soldier who claims that his young colleagues are too eager to be controllers and have forgotten that the people who want to pass are human beings, who are not necessarily terrorists. The film is never sentimental, it documents, by using the mere dates of filming as chapters in a diary format that simply by adding one date after the other makes the viewer think. The director is an active member of ”Machsom Watch” (Checkpoint Watch) that is a non-profit association of Israeli women, who observe, document and publicize what happens close to home. ”You don’t let us live”, says a man to the camera carried by the Israeli filmmaker.

How long is this inhumanity and humiliation going to last...

Israel, 2009, 60 mins.

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