After living in the Golan Heights for four years, first-time Irish directors Keith Walsh and Jill Beardsworth deliver a fascinating documentary on identity.
During the Six Day War in 1967, Israel annexed the Golan Heights. Pushing some 130,000 Syrians over the border, it separated families and friends forever. Before the invasion, there were 139 Arab villages in the region. Only five remain. Walsh and Beardsworth home in on one particular village, Majdal Shams, that is separated from the Syrian border by a patrolled minefield.
It’s here the filmmakers find a population of 22,000 Druze struggling to hold on to a sense of self.
After Israel met with resistance when it tried to enforce Israel nationality on those who remained, those who refused are ‘undefined’, a term a patriotic grandfather can’t understand. He drums the importance of Syria and loyalty to its president, Bashar al Assad, into his grandchildren. A woman who hasn’t seen her family in ten years harangues the soldiers at the border for refusing to let her see her dying father. A stunning piece of film making not to be missed.
Come see it on the big screen at The Source Arts Centre and meet the film makers Keith Walsh and Jill Beardsworth after the screening for an informal Q&A session.
The Source Arts Centre Thurles Friday 17 April 8.00pm