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The Junction
A Film by Ilan Ziv
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Although they may have had little in common in life, Fahmi Abou Ammouneh and David Biri are linked in death, their fates tied to Netzarim Junction in the Gaza Strip, a crossroads between the Israeli settlement of Netzarim and the Palestinian refugee camp of Nusseirat. It became a strategic location during the Oslo peace process, which left Nezarim isolated in Palestinian lands.

It was there that David and Fahmi died - the first Israeli soldier and the first resident of Nusseirat to lose their lives in conflict that has since seen nearly 1,000 Israelis and 3,000 Palestinians killed. Using home videos and memories of family and friends, THE JUNCTION shows the ripple effects on their loved ones and their communities.

David's sister remains angry at the meaninglessness of his death. His parents have left his room untouched, except for changing the sheets once a week. His dearest friend, El'ad, committed suicide. And David's surviving army buddies are disillusioned.

For Fahmi's family, his death is a personal tragedy and one more injustice perpetrated by the Israeli occupiers. His mother's family was forced out of their village when she was a baby, and his uncle decries the misery that follows them from generation to generation.

Once a busy intersection and a teeming neighborhood, the area is now a militarized desert.The Palestinian homes, orange groves, and greenhouses that surrounded the crossroads have been reduced to rubble and sand; a metaphor for the trap that has imprisoned both Palestinians and Israelis. Nothing remains except the Israeli settlement that David's unit was tasked to protect.

The narrative spine of THE JUNCTION is confined in space and time, yet reaches far into the social fabric of both societies to explore the culture of death that feeds the political impasse, and the violent convolutions that are currently consuming both Israelis and Palestinians.

"Elegantly structured... A powerful reminder that the smallest skirmishes exact a grim toll in blood and tears."—George Robinson, Jewish Week

"An intelligent and sensitive contribution to the discussion of settlements. Rather than reiterate the tired monologues of both sides, THE JUNCTION courageously pierces through the rhetoric in its penetrating juxtaposition of the stories of these two young men and the aftermath for the surviving loved ones."—Al Jadid, A Review & Record of Arab Culture and Arts

"An excellent film...moving...Compels us to reconcile the irreconcilable."—Leonardo Digital Reviews

"Making documentaries about the Middle East, where political realities shift instantaneously, can be a tricky business. [This film] looks beyond the current wave of violence, to its roots in a culture of tragedy and denial."—The Village Voice

"Very moving... A powerful metaphor for the futility of our conflict with the Palestinians."—Jury of 2003 Haifa Film Festival

Best Documentary, 2003 Haifa Film Festival
2004 Global Visions Film Festival
2004 Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival
  

52 minutes / color
Release: 2004
Copyright: 2003
Sale: $298

Subject areas:
Conflict Resolution, Human Rights, Middle East, Multi-Cultural Studies, Politics

Related Links:
The Films of Ilan Ziv

Related Titles:
Human Weapon: The first sober, in-depth examination of the history of suicide bombing. Filmed in Iran, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Israel, Palestine, Europe and the United States.

This Way Up: Near Jerusalem, the construction of the separation wall continues, a few feet from a senior citizens' home.

On The Objection Front: When a group of Israeli officers and soldiers announced that, while willing to serve in Israel's defense, they would no longer participate in the "War of the Settlements." they provoked fierce reactions in Israeli society.

Young Freud in Gaza: Ayed is a young psychotherapist in Gaza. The film shows his consultations with a variety of patients, and the challenges he and they face.

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