The Inner Tour
I got the second movie on my Blockbuster que and it is two for two, another excellent film. This too was a documentary, called The Inner Tour. It was made by an Israeli-born filmmaker Ra'anan Alexandrowicz in 2001. He took a group of Palestinians from the West Bank (one was from Gaza) on a three-day sightseeing tour through Israel. I went into the film knowing this and thus expecting to see something with, perhaps somewhat of an Israeli slant ( only at the final credits did I notice the co-producer, a Palestinian, Raed Andoni). I was soon confused because the film was primarily in Arabic and it portrayed an array of people from a very elderly man wearing a Kaffiyeh who was looking for his village that he left in 1948 to a young woman whose husband was in an Israeli prison because he shot and killed an Israeli soldier to a middle-aged woman whose husband was killed by Israeli soldiers (both of these during the Intifada) to small children who had never seen the sea before to several young men who never thought they'd be side by side with Jews. This was no ordinary Israeli documentary. The bus driver was a Jewish Israeli. The tour guide spoke Arabic, Hebrew and English. The tour took them from the very north of Israel near the Lebanese border, where they saw the grottoes, Rosh Hanikra (Hebrew: ראש הנקרה "head of the rock caves") a unique geologic formation in Israel to the Arab town of Jaffa and a few other villages and finally to Tel Aviv.
I want to say it was fascinating and it was, but that might imply taking distance from the film; a distance I don't have. Having just recently come home from a two week trip to Israel (the last of well over a dozen trips I have made since the age of 16), I am not an impartial bystander, nor an objective observer. Still my heart ached watching this documentary. I am not sure what else to say, other than what the maker of the film, Ra'anan Alexandrowicz, said at the end of it.
"A new chapter will have to be writen in the two parallel and contradicting books which reflect the history of our land."