My Terrorist

A film by Yulie Cohen

Israel | 2002 | 58 minutes | Color | DVD | Subtitled | Order No. 03813


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.


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

Noah Cowan indieWire

“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


  • Human Rights Watch Film Festival
  • San Francisco International Film Festival
  • Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival - Silver Wolf Competition
  • Jerusalem Film Festival - Special Jury Prize
  • 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
  • Gene Siskel Film Center at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago


Yulie Cohen

Yulie Cohen earned a degree in Sociology & Anthropology from Tel Aviv University (1981), and an MA with distinction in Communication Arts from the New York Institute of Technology (1984). She worked in films in New York and Los Angeles, returning to Israel in 1988 for the birth of the first of two daughters.

Since 1993, Yulie has directed and/or produced many documentaries, including:

My Terrorist (2002), financed by ZDF/ARTE, The Danish Film Institute, the BBC, YLE Finland, and TV2 Denmark, which received a special jury prize at the Jerusalem Film Festival, was Silver Wolf nominee at IDFA, was awarded the Provincia di Cuneo Prize (2003) and the European Prize Ilaria Alpi Journalistic Television.(2004) The film was translated into 20 languages, broadcasted in 21 countries and screened at more than 100 film festivals around the world.

My Land Zion (2004), financed by ZDF/ARTE, The Danish Film Institute, the BBC, VRT Belgium, YLE Finland, and TV2 Denmark was broadcast in more than ten countries, and screened at many film festivals. The Art of Film Prize was given to Yulie by the Jerusalem Film Festival in 2005.

My Brother (2007) premiered at Haifa International film festival and was transmitted outside Israel and by Channel 2 Israel with high ratings.

My Israel (2008), a compilation of the above mentioned trilogy produced and directed by Cohen, was commissioned by Nick Fraser for BBC4, Storyville, and was transmitted on Israel sixty's anniversary on May 2008. It was supported by Israel Gesher fund and transmitted at DRtv, DK and Israel's documentary channel- YesDocu. The four films have been shown in Israel and abroad followed by discussions.

A Minor Shrine For Our Love was curated by Adi Englman in 2014 for Dani Karavan's exhibition 50 years of the Negev Monument in The Negev Museum of Art.

Our Natural Right was created for Channel 12, Israel.

Since 2008, she has been teaching at Bezalel Academy of the Arts and Design Jerusalem. She is currently working on Who Killed Jessica? an animated documentary co-production with France, Belgium and Germany.

For more information visit (07/19)


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