The Women Next Door

A film by Michal Aviad

Israel/US | 1992 | 80 minutes | Color | 16mm/DVD | Subtitled | Order No. 99158


THE WOMEN NEXT DOOR is a thoughtful and emotive documentary about women in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Israeli director Michal Aviad was living in the United States when the Intifada broke out in the West Bank and Gaza. Filled with questions about how the Occupation affected women on both sides of the conflict she set off in a journey through Israel and the Occupied Territories with two other women -- a Palestinian assistant director and an Israeli cinematographer. The film explores the roles that the Occupation designated for women on both sides and the questions it raises. In a world of occupation, what is the meaning of femininity, motherhood, birth, violence, compassion and solidarity between women? Can the womanhood of Israelis and Palestinians be separated from their political reality? The women next door are the women on either side of the border, as well as, those who face the camera and those who stand behind it. THE WOMEN NEXT DOOR provides a unique perspective on women’s lives in the Middle East and the critical part they play in rebuilding societies ravaged by war.


“**** Compelling and well-crafted…. Production values are superb….It will spark discussion in political science and women’s studies classes. Recommended for high school, academic, and public libraries.”

Video Rating Guide for Libraries


  • Berlin Film Festival, Jury Recommendation – Peace Film Prize


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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