It was an indelible Newsweek cover photograph: two teenage girls who looked so alike they could have been sisters. Instead, one was a Palestinian bomber who blew herself up in a Jerusalem grocery store, the other her 17-year-old Israeli Jewish victim. Daughters of Abraham is an unblinking portrait of two lives on a fateful collision course.
Hilla Medalia was born in 1977 in a suburb of Tel Aviv, Israel. Upon graduation from high school, she joined the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). After military service she began her academic career in the United States where she earned her BA in Radio and TV from Southern Illinois University in 2001. Her MA will be completed in May 2004, while she also taught advanced editing for seniors and graduate students at SIU. Medalia achieved numerous honors, including second place in the documentary category at 2004 BEA and the 2003 UFVA Carole Fielding Student Grant for the documentary Daughters of Abraham and was awarded second place in the promo/commercial category at BEA 2003 for the commercial Tantastic. She also gained the NATPE Film and Student Award for ALT.LANDSCAPE. Daughters of Abraham was her first documentary and also served as her thesis project. Upon completing the requirements for her MA, Medalia plans to move to New York to pursue various production opportunities.