HBO has come a long way from it’s early days of regurgitating movies after they had run their course in the theaters. Today they are very much a creative entity on their own. From hit series like The Sopranos to hot self made movies they run the entire gamut of the entertainment spectrum. They are also heavily involved in what they like to call Movie-Documentaries, and on Thursday November/1 To Die In Jerusalem premiers.

I had the opportunity to preview this work, and if I was a gambling man, I would bet that this is going to be a huge hit for them. To say the least I was impressed by this tour de force that takes a look at the Israeli Palestinian conflict, but does so in a very interesting, at times disturbing, however, always creative way.

On March 29th 2002, a Palestinian suicide bomber entered a Jerusalem supermarket and detonated the device. ‘Unfortunately this is a common occurrence’, I hear you say. Well no, this one was different, the bomber was Ayat al-Akhras, an 18 year old Palestinian girl, and one of the two victims was Rachel Levy, a 17 year old Israeli girl. Two young people who likely under other circumstances would have been friends, sharing their innermost thoughts, instead they are now just a statistic. Even stranger, the girls even looked alike, they could have been sisters in life, instead they are linked in a much more sinister way.

What makes To Die In Jerusalem stand out above the crowd is the innovative style that director Hilla Medalia has adopted. The story is told through the eyes and hearts of the the two mothers that have lost their daughters to a conflict that many of us in North America cannot understand, its roots are simple, yet the solution seems to outside of every-ones ability.

The mothers themselves are not in conflict with each other, and neither were their daughters, but both are caught up in a situation that they have no control over.

Director Medalia looks at each ones story, and then brings the mothers together for an emotionally charged meeting. This documentary has ‘awards’ written all over it. It is disturbing, it is touching, and it goes far beyond anything else I have seen about this conflict.

Remember to set your dial to HBO at 9pm on Thursday, oh, and for a teaser, try the trailers.

Simon Barrett

http://zzsimonb.blogspot.com

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