Ramleh

A film by Michal Aviad

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

SYNOPSIS

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.

PRESS

“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

SCREENING HIGHLIGHTS AND AWARDS

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

ABOUT FILMMAKER(S)

Michal Aviad

Michal Aviad was born in Jerusalem and studied literature, philosophy and cinema after graduating high school. During the 1980s she lived in San Francisco, where she started making films, and since returning to Israel in 1991, she has continued to write, direct and produce award-winning documentaries. 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), and FOR MY CHILDREN (2002, Israel). Aviad’s films examine the complex relationships between women’s issues and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, militarism, and ethnicity. In November 2019, Aviad was rewarded one of Israel’s most prestigious awards, the Landau Award for Arts and Sciences, endowed by Mifal HaPais Council for the Culture and Arts, which cited her as "one of the most important directors in the history of Israeli cinema." In addition to continuing to make films, Aviad is also a faculty member at Tel Aviv University’s Department of Film and Television where she works as a senior lecturer at the Department of Cinema and Television. (01/20)

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