This feature début by documentary film maker Saverio Costanzo is a minimalist psychological drama, inspired by a real event. Mohammad (Bakri), a Palestinian teacher and active pacifist, lives with his family in a house situated in a deserted area between Israeli settlements and an Arab village. His wife Samiah feels unsafe in these surroundings and would like to move, but Mohammad's pride does not allow him and his family to be labeled with the status of refugee. He decides to stay. When one night a group of Israeli soldiers enter the house and proclaim it Israeli territory, Samiah sees her premonitions confirmed. The family moves into the living room on the ground floor, and the two incompatible groups start to co-exist next to each other. The children, like their parents, experience the surreal situation each in their own way. The Israeli soldiers go on with their military duties, and through the little espionage visits of one of Mohammad's daughters to their territory upstairs, we get to know their human sides as well. Winner of a Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival, Private is convincingly shot in documentary style with a hand-held camera, using a quick pace. The director has created a unique occasion for both Israeli and Palestinian actors to work together, and being an outsider himself, tried to maintain a neutral standpoint. (LC)

Filmmaker
Saverio Costanzo
Premiere
-
Country
Italy
Year
2004
Medium
35mm
Length
90’
Language
Arabic, Hebreews, English
Producer
Offside Srl., Mario Gianani
Sales
Pierre Menahem, Scalpel
Writer
Alessio Cremonini, Saverio Costanzo
Cast
Mohammad Bakri