July 28, 2007

Learn your maps!

Films. Mixed feelings and a good surprise.

The way After the Wedding started, it could have been anything. I actually thought it would be a Danish "Chabrol" movie, lashing out at the bourgeoisie and their dirty secrets hidden behind the façade of respectability, with a touch of Lars von Trier and his Dogme 95 for the filming style. It turned out on that, unlike in Chabrol, all the characters were full of generous feelings, and for that matter, it was quite refreshing. The image did have quite a lot of shaky "camera on the shoulder" and similar effects whose scarcity I favor, but which were appropriately used for what the director,Susanne Bier, wanted to show: excess of emotion. Overall, I thought the quality was there (acting, image, scenario) but everything was in excess (generous feelings, emotion, effects and the number of reels, if you see what I mean.)

Meduzot (מדוזות), on the other hand, was a very good surprise. I was under the impression that the acting performance was not really to the international standards of a great movie, but the film was saved by the originality of its scenario and the simple, refreshing touch of symbolism. I enjoyed the potpourri of references to Israeli culture and society problems.

Politics. I was told by someone who is familiar with Palestinian politics - and is not biased towards Israel, on the contrary trying to help the Palestinians - that the "two state solution" is now an illusion, due to the number of Israeli citizens (read "settlers" if you prefer) living in the West Bank. Although it is just one opinion, and I didn't even have the opportunity to explore it fully yet, it certainly changes everything. Indeed, I've been asking myself what a country split between the West Bank and Gaza would be, and the way the separation barrier is beeing built (see the latest map on B'Tselem's website), even the West Bank doesn't make sense. Of course the separation barrier can be pulled down, but the Israelis can't resign themselves to abandoning their claims on the West Bank.

See also B'Tselem's map of forbidden and restricted roads in the West Bank, it's fascinating. The ones, I'm ashamed to say, that I used several times, are the 404/45/443 from Jerusalem to Modi'in and roads number 1 & 90 from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea. Actually, I chose to drive through the road to Modi'in only once, to show it to visiting friends: it's a shortcut to the area of Tel Aviv and the North but otherwise, I don't need to use that road, I am ready to take the slower and busier historical road. (Shared taxis and other drivers are not ready...) On the other hand, there is no question that the road from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea comes in handy to go to the Dead Sea, Massada, Ein Gedi and Eilat instead of driving all around Judea.

Fun. Sea is fun. Speaking Hebrew non-stop for 24 hours is fun - difficult but gratifying.

1 comment:

Cheyenne said...

je crois que deux Etats sont possibles, cela ne signifie pas que les colons doivent demenager !
Il y a plein d'arabes israeliens, je vois pas pourquoi il ne devrait pas y avoir de juifs palestiniens.