Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Film Review: 'A Bottle in the Gaza Sea'

 


On March 22, the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando will be hosting an Israeli Film Night screening “A Bottle in the Gaza Sea” at the Orlando Science Center. I was able to screen the film in advance and found it quite enjoyable to watch.

The movie is centered around two young adults, Tai and Naim. Tai is 17 years old, Naim is 20. She’s Israeli. He’s Palestinian. Tai lives in Jerusalem and Naim lives in Gaza. They were born in a land of scorched earth, where fathers bury their children. They must endure an explosive situation that is not of their choosing at an age where young people are falling in love and taking their place in adult life. A bottle thrown in the sea and a correspondence by email nurture the slender hope that their relationship might give them the strength to confront this harsh reality to grapple with it, and thereby ever so slightly change it. Only 60 miles separate them but how many bombings, check-points, sleepless nights and bloodstained days stand between them?

What struck me about the movie is that Tai and Naim connect on the basis of a shared interest. Naim is studying French in Gaza and loves it. He is a good student and sees it as his way out of Gaza. Tai emigrated to Israel from France. When their tenuous relationship at the beginning is threatened by the realities of their situations, it is this common interest that serves as the basis for the continuation of their email exchanges.  

The movie effectively shows the realities of the conflict from each point of view without vilifying either side or falling into the trap of moral equivalencies. At the same time, it points to the potential of individuals to rise above the conflict when they meet each other on a person-to-person basis—respecting the humanity of each. But don’t take my word for it. Join us at Israeli Film Night and decide for yourself.

“A Bottle in the Gaza Sea” will be shown at JFGO’s Israeli Film Night on March 22 at 8:30pm at the Orlando Science Center, 777 E. Princeton Street. Tickets are $12 and include film screening with dessert reception. Reserve your seat at http://www.JFGO.org.

 

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