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


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


Yulie Cohen

Born in Israel, 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 her two daughters. Since 1996, Yulie has directed and produced many internationally co-produced documentaries such as: MY TERRORIST (2002) 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) My Terrorist was translated into 20 languages, broadcasted in 21 countries and screened at more than 100 film festivals around the world. After completing My Terrorist in 2002, Yulie directed the 2nd documentary supported by The Danish Film Institute, the BBC, VRT Belgium, YLE Finland, ZDF/ARTE and TV2 Denmark: MY LAND ZION (2004) which was screened at many film festivals in Israel, Canada, France, Australia, USA, Italy, Argentina, Germany, Denmark, Ecuador and more. In 2005 Cohen received the Art of Film Prize at the Jerusalem Film Festival. MY BROTHER (2007), the last in the trilogy, was premiered in the competition at Haifa International film Festival (Oct. ’07) and transmitted on the commercial channel 2 of Israel with an excellent rating. My Israel [2000 – 2008], based on the trilogy and some new footage, got great newspaper reviews in the UK after its broadcasting at BBC4 on May 2008. Gesher Fund for Cinema in Israel granted My Israel marketing funds and it was transmitted on the YesDocu documentary channel in Israel. During 2009, Cohen exhibits a video art she made with Ittai Finkelstein named BIBILOGRAPHY at Suzan Dalal Centre in Tel Aviv. In 2014 DocAviv she exhibits SELF PORTRAIT video art and in summer 2014, produced and directed MINOR SHRINE OF OUR LOVE (2014, 30') a documentary for Dani Karavan's exhibition in the Negev Museum. (10/15)

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