The Inner Tour

Ra´anan Alexandrowicz

Tel Aviv/Ramalla, 2001, 97 min.

A bus load of Palestinians travel on an organised tour to Israel to places where they are normally not allowed to go on their own. This is how they can get an entry permit to cross the so-called green line between Israel and the occupied territories. Filmed before the outburst of the second Intifada in October 2000, when the hope for peace was still talked about at least, their personal stories and fates unfold. All of them are closely and brutally related to the history of Israel. The drama they experience on their three-day trip is mainly a drama that takes place inside them.

As viewers we are taken on a journey into a human culture we don’t recognize from the daily TV news or from many well-meaning pro-Palestinian reports. We follow the Palestinians to the northern region to Tel Aviv and Jaffa and through a countryside from which Arab villages have vanished. All the passengers are from the occupied territories where 3 million Palestinians live. Several of them live in refugee camps, and they are travelling to Israel, many to see lost land and homes. We study their faces, the different generations represented in the bus, we listen to the dialogue and the monologues. And yet what we feel is the inner journey being taken by the characters. It is etched in all the faces, expressions and body language caught by a camera that keeps a respectful distance. The result is a documentary brimming with dignity, a warm and moving film that fills you with sadness because it speaks to your heart.

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