• Israel
  • 80
  • STC
  • Yoav Shamir

After 37 years of Israeli authority over the West Bank and Gaza Strip, a fresh and remarkable study of the complex relations between these regions’ soldiers and civilians has been made. Winner of the top award at the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, Checkpoint chronicles three years of daily border crossings. Israeli filmmaker Yoav Shamir received unprecedented access to several military checkpoints, capturing the candid and often dramatically charged encounters on both sides. For many Palestinians and Israelis, checkpoints are their first and only point of contact with each other. Regardless of purpose, whether for work, funerals, or trips to the hospital, Palestinians are faced with these crossings twice a day, if not more. The young and often green Israeli soldiers grapple with the responsibility of either permitting or preventing their movement. Shamir carefully observes these negotiations without interference. The cumulative result is a film that conveys a profound sense of the destructive impact this situation has on both societies, a situation that breeds intolerance and hatred, often leaving little room for human dignity on either side. Shannon Abel

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