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Kesher Israel Film: "Ahed's Knee"

Wednesday, May 8, 2024 30 Nisan 5784

6:30 PM - 9:00 PMFrank Adult Lounge

The Kesher Israel film series offers insights into Israeli culture and opportunities to join with others who share similar interests.

The title of the film "Ahed's Knee" (2021) is a reference to a real incident that happened in 2017 when 16-year-old Ahed’s confrontation with an IDF soldier in the West Bank went viral. She was photographed shouting at him and eventually slapping him. She was arrested that night and held for six months in jail. Bezalel Smotrich (currently the Finance Minister in Israel’s government) made a widely publicized comment that the soldier should have shot her in the knee so that she would have to stay homebound for the rest of her life. 

As the film opens, “Y,” a fictional award-winning Israeli film director (much like the film's director Nadav Lapid himself) is casting for a film based on that incident. He keeps thinking about the new film as he flies to a remote small town in the southern Israeli desert near the Dead Sea for a screening of his internationally acclaimed recent film at a public library. He was invited by an employee of the government, who is compelled to have him sign a form which promises that nothing he shows or says will contradict or undermine “official” government positions. If he refuses, he risks a complete government ban on future films. “Y” asserts that such censorship is part of the new “soul of Israel,” one which cannot tolerate the truth. Will “Y” comply? Will he publish proof of hidden government coercion? At stake is not only his own integrity, but also the life of the young librarian who had invited him. The film’s style and content contribute to make this a powerful, moving cinematic achievement. What is the truth about contemporary Israel, and how should artists tell it? 

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May 27, 2024 19 Iyar 5784