A film by Michal Aviad

Israel | 2001 | 58 minutes | Color | DVD | Subtitled | Order No. 02763


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.


“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


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


Michal Aviad

Michal Aviad was born in Jerusalem to an Italian-born mother and a Hungarian-born father. After finishing high school, she studied literature philosophy and cinema. During the 1980s she lived in San Francisco where she started making films and became a mother. Since returning to Israel in 1991, she has continued to write, direct and produce award-winning documentary films.

Her films include: ACTING OUR AGE (1987, USA), THE WOMEN NEXT DOOR (1992, Israel), EVER SHOT ANYONE? (1995, Israel), JENNY & JENNY (1997, Israel), RAMLEH (2001, Israel), FOR MY CHILDREN (2002, Israel) Aviad’s films examine the complex relationships between women’s issues and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, militarism, and ethnicity. Aviad has been working on co-writing and directing INVISIBLE since 2006. It is her first feature length fiction film.

She is a faculty member at Tel Aviv University’s Department of Film and Television. Aviad shares her life with her two children and her boyfriend, in unbearably sunny Tel Aviv. (8/14)

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