Wed. Oct. 28, 7:15pm at Cinemapolis

Synopsis.Private distills the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into a nightmarish microcosm when a midnight Private Graphicraid by Israeli soldiers on the house of a peaceful, well-educated Palestinian family turns the home into an occupied territory.” – Stephen Holden, New York Times, November 18, 2005

“Located between a Palestinian village and an Israeli settlement, Mohammad’s home is of strategic importance to the Israeli army and their commanding officer Ofer (Lior Miller), who wants the Palestinian family to leave. After a gunfight ensues outside the families’ home the Israeli army occupies the second floor of the house for “security reasons” and asks the family to leave their home. Mohammad, a resolute pacifist refuses to leave, the house, he says, “is the border of his dignity.” Ofer, the Israeli commander, divides the home into strictly controlled areas. The family is allowed to stay in the living room and the Israeli soldiers occupy the second floor. If the family dare to stray from their small area they are told they will be shot.” — Arjan El Fassed, The Electronic Intifada, July 26, 2005.

Filmed documentary-style on digital video with hand-held cameras, in southern Italy, where the rocky terrain resembles that of the West Bank.

Debut film by Italian director Saverio Costanzo. Screenplay by a quartet including Costanzo, Palestinian author Sayed Kashua (2014 film A Borrowed Identity/Dancing Arabs), Camilla Costanzo (sister of the director), and Alessio Cremonini. Cinematography by Gigi Martinucci (as Luigi Martinucci). Music by Alter Ego. Produced by Mario Gianani, with co-producer Gian Luca Rizzo and co-executive producer Fabrizio Storaro. Distributed by Typecast Releasing, released Sept 10, 2004. English, Arabic and Hebrew with English subtitles. 90 minutes.

• Mohammad Bakri as Mohammad B (father of the family) – b. 1953, Palestinian actor and director of documentary film Jenin Jenin [trailer].
• Lior Miller as Commander Ofer (head of Israeli army occupiers) – b. 1972, Israeli film and television actor, model and pop-culture icon.
• Hend Ayoub as Mariam B (eldest daughter of the featured Palestinian family) – actress know for Death of a President (2006), Private (2004) and Hotel Pennsylvania (2013).
• Tomer Russo as Private Eial (one of the IDF occupying the home)
• Arin Omary as Samiah B (mother of the Palestinian family whose home is occupied by IDF)

Interview with Saverio Costanza [pdf]
Trailer for Private

• Film Review: “Private”. Arjan El Fassed, July 26, 2005, The Electronic Intifada. [go]
• A House Divided: Palestinian Captives and Israeli Captors. Stephen Holden, November 18. 2005, New York Times. [go]