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My Terrorist
A film by Yulie Cohen
Israel, 2002, 58 minutes, Color, DVD, Subtitled
Order No. W03813
In 1978, filmmaker Yulie Cohen was wounded in a terrorist attack by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. A stewardess for the Israeli airline El Al, she was attacked along with other crewmembers when getting off the bus to the hotel in London. In a remarkable twist of faith, twenty-three years later Cohen began questioning the causes of violence between Israelis and Palestinians and started to consider helping release the man who almost killed her, Fahad Mihyi.

From the time she was a young girl, Cohen considered herself a staunch Israeli nationalist. Growing up in an upper middle class neighborhood in Israel (where her neighbors included future Prime Ministers Yitzhak Rabin and Arik Sharon, and military hero Moshe Dayan), she patriotically served in the military. After working as an Israel coordinator on a film shoot and visiting the occupied territories, Cohen came to realize that both Israelis and Palestinians played a role in perpetuating the cycle of hostility and bloodshed. It was her goal to stand up as a survivor and call for reconciliation on each side. An inspiring story of forgiveness, Cohen’s poignant documentary is a moving testimony of human compassion and a call for peace.


  • Gene Siskel Film Center at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Jerusalem Film Festival - Special Jury Prize
  • Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival - Silver Wolf Competition
  • Human Rights Watch Film Festival
  • San Francisco International Film Festival
  • One World – International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival
  • DC International Film Festival
  • Seattle Jewish Film Festival
  • Toronto Jewish Film Festival
  • Montreal Jewish Film Festival
  • Jeonju International Film Festival
  • Vancouver Jewish Film Festival
  • Denmark National Film Festival
  • Shorts and Docs Reykjavik
  • Femme Totale Film Festival, Germany
  • Infinity Festival, Italy

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    “…bracingly honest…her incredible courage is an example to us all...”
    Noah Cowan

    “It's an act of reconciliation, which is also politically very unpopular in Israel at this violent and volatile time. We applaud her courage for inviting us on her journey as she wrestled with and eventually overcame her own doubts.”
    IDFA, Silver Wolf Jury

    "A critical and much-needed expression of importance of dissent, particularly Jewish dissent, within the discourse on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The ethic of dissent and its crucial importance in remaking a world gone wrong is a core tenet of Judaism and one which is too often forgotten ...[Gerstel's]films show why we must try to create a world where affirmation is possible and dissent is mandatory, where our capacity to witness is not only restored but sanctioned."
    Dr. Sara Roy
    Senior Research Scholar Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University

    “With a searing honesty, [Cohen’s films] lead you through a personal and sometimes grueling process of trying to make sense of the relationship between past and present, the individual and the collective, the self and the ‘other.’”
    Emily Gottreich
    Vice Chair, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Univ. of California at Berkeley

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    My Terrorist is included in the following Special Collections.
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