Holot is a detention centre in the Israeli desert near the Egyptian border. It houses asylum-seekers from Eritrea and Sudan who can’t be sent back to their own countries, but who have no prospects in Israel either thanks to the country’s policies. Although it’s technically not a prison, the roll call three times daily and isolated location make it into a virtual one. Enter Chen Alon and Avi Mograbi, who decide to initiate a theatre workshop with these people in the most precarious of situations. Following the principles of the “Theatre of the Oppressed,” which sees itself as an aesthetic route to political and social change, scenes from the asylum-seekers’ own lives form the starting point for the process.
This approach gives the asylum-seekers the opportunity to address their own experiences of forced migration and discrimination and to confront an Israeli society that has decided to view those seeking protection as dangerous infiltrators. When a few Israelis show up, the dynamic changes. Can role-playing and the shifts in perspective it brings help foster a more profound understanding of other points of view? This is a film full of open questions.
Israel / France 2016, 85 min
Doc & Film International
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