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A film by Michal Aviad
Israel, 2001, 58 minutes, Color, DVD, Subtitled
Order No. W02763
A timely and powerful look at the ideological, cultural and political conflicts in contemporary Israel, this highly original documentary profiles three seemingly disparate women residing in the town of Ramleh. Located in the heartland of the Israel, this former Palestinian territory serves as a microcosm of the beliefs, biases and conflicts of women living in the country today.

Profiled in this compelling documentary are Sima and Orly, two ultra-orthodox Jewish women who rediscover religion and enthusiastically support the conservative “Shas” party, the third largest political party in Israel; Svetlana, a single-mother and recent immigrant struggling to establish herself in her new country; and Gehad, a young Muslim teacher and law student attempting to find a sense of national identity in a predominately Jewish state. Filmed between the general elections in 1999 and the 2001 elections, Ramleh demonstrates the profound cultural and political divisions barring these women from living together as a united community, as well as reveals how their political landscape helped sow the seeds of the intifada in 2000. It similarly raises the question of whether each woman and the communities they represent will ever peacefully reconcile their search for tradition, religion and homeland.


  • Human Rights Watch Film Festival
  • One World Film Festival
  • Munich International Documentary Film Festival
  • FIPA? Festival International de Programmes Audiovisuels
  • Jerusalem International Film Festival
  • San Francisco, Washington and Maine Jewish Film Festival
  • Istanbul International Documentary Film Festival
  • Dallas Video Festival
  • Kalamata International Documentary Film Festival
  • Macedonia Human Rigths Film Festival
  • Pristina Human Rights Film Festival
  • World Summit International Film Festival
  • Mumbai International Film Festival
  • Israel Film Festival (New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Boston)
  • Manchester Film Festival
  • Hartford Jewish Film Festival
  • Halfway to Hollywood Film Festival
  • Immaginaria Women’s International Film Festival
  • Unabhaengiges FilmFest Osnabrueck
  • Sguardi Altrove Women’s International Film Festival

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    “The film stands as a meditation about external and internal geographies of identity, particularly in the case of minority groups within Israeli society. Despite its diversity and hybridity, Aviad reminds us that the film can only be cohered through the Ashkenazi establishment, so well represented by Aviad's missing body, but ever present voice-over narration.”
    Dorit Naaman
    Binghamton University

    "Excels in its direct, critical and yet full of respect treatment of its subjects. Aviad is able to create identification, as she describes a frightening world, 20 minutes away from Tel Aviv. She does it with wisdom and with a lot of talent."
    Irit Shamgar
    Ma’ariv, Israel

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    Ramleh is included in the following Special Collections.
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WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Ending the Silence, BODY IMAGE, and AFRICAN-AMERICAN: Celebrate the Lives of African-American Women.

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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us