Blood Relation

When her grandmother dies, Jewish Israeli filmmaker Noa Ben Hagai discovers a packet of carefully preserved letters from a woman named Pnina, her grandmother’s sister, who had left home one day in 1940 at age 14 and never returned. She reemerged 27 years later, a mother of eight living in a refugee camp in the West Bank city of Nablus. Baffled by the silence shrouding her great-aunt’s existence and curious to hear stories about her unfathomable journey, Ben Hagai interviews her uncles and aunts, as well as neighbors who grew up alongside Pnina and her siblings in the agricultural village of Yavniel. Did Pnina run away to convert to Islam after striking up a friendship with the family maid? Was she kidnapped by an Arab vegetable merchant who offered her a ride and later married her? Or did her parents expel Pnina after she became pregnant by Yavniel’s golden boy, who refused to marry her? As this exceptionally powerful story unfolds, Ben Hagai’s quest to uncover the truth stirs up painful, unsettling memories and emotions—and shines a harsh light on seven decades of Israeli-Palestinian relations that have seen little in the way of progress and far too much in the way of deterioration.
Release Year
Festival Year(s)
Running Time