A fascinating film essay by Asher de Bentolila Tlalim, an Israeli filmmaker now living in London, GALOOT (Exile) is an extended meditation on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the eyes of those living at a distance. Through international visits (London, Israel, Morocco and Poland) and dialogue-with Palestinian refugees, the new immigrants to Israel who now occupy their homes, the current occupants of his family's former house in Tangiers, the residents of the former village of his wife's family in Lisensk, a scientist, a jazz musician, and others-the filmmaker explores the position of exile, with its unique pain and perspective on what others may be too close to perceive. By layering rich and fascinating stories, the film allows viewers to experience the complexity of the situation in Israel and the dilemmas faced by Jews who allow themselves to feel and understand this. At the Berlin Film Festival, the filmmaker declared "It is the role of artists-filmmakers-to open a channel that politicians are trying to close." Speaking of his film, he said, "Since the beginning of the Al-Aqsa intifada, the lack of mutual understanding on both sides and the blindness to the other side's suffering has only been growing." GALOOT speaks simultaneously to the mind and the heart, transcending the limitations of ordinary political discourse, time and indifference.
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