When does it all begin—how do we become who we become? How does it happen that we get slotted into our places in the social pecking order? How did any of us survive the tribulations of childhood? These are some of the questions that may pass through your mind as you watch Sidewalk, the latest documentary by Festival favorite Duki Dror (Taqasim, SFJFF 2003; My Fantasia, SFJFF 2005; Mr. Cortisone, Happy Days). Dror presents a simple, child’s-eye view that may jog a few of your own childhood memories. Beyond that, Sidewalk is filled with marvelous observations—some wry and hilarious, others painful and poetic—as he follows kids on their daily journeys to and from school. Dror has the same wondrous gift of bittersweet nostalgia that the cartoonists Charles M. Schulz and Lynda Barry have. They all remind us that the touch of our childhood is with us—and marks us—forever.
Born in Tel Aviv and educated at UCLA and Columbia College in Chicago, Duki Dror has been directing award-winning documentaries since 1992. His first film "Sentenced to Learn," about "lifers" getting schooled in a Chicago penitentiary, was showcased in 1993 by Cinema Du Reel in a retrospective of American Documentary. After living in the US for 8 years, Dror returned to Israel to document Israel's cultural, social and political margins.
An important part of Duki Dror's work has been to document the life work of Jewish musicians from the Arab world. In both "Cafe Noah" and "Taqasim," he captures the beauty and depth of classical Arab music. In "My Fantasia," Dror salvages the history of his Iraqi family out of the dominant European Zionist narrative.
"Duki Dror disassembles the notion of migration and presents characters that are detached from the mainstream, enclosed in cultural islands." (Ynet).