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BACK TO ONE'S ROOTS
Directed by | Bilal Yousef
Genre documentary | Length: 47mins | Year of production: 2009
Just as their form of Islam is often shrouded in mystery, the political and cultural life of the Druze in Israel today is frequently ignored or only vaguely understood. Most know that the Druze are Palestinian Muslims who serve in the Israeli army. Yet little is heard of the divisions amongst the Druze this has engendered, or the resistance that has been mounted to Zionism by Druze.
Bilal Yousef’s Back to One’s Roots is an eloquent doc that works to demystify and challenge perceptions of Druze political life in Israel. It tells the story of Yaman, a Druze citizen who grew up in the north of Israel. Yaman’s dream of joining a Special Forces Unit is shattered upon the death of his two brothers as they serve in the army. When he nonetheless insists on joining the army, he is dispatched to work in an Israeli prison holding Palestinian and Arab activists. Contact with these political prisoners leads him to reevaluate his relationship with the Israeli army and reflect on his identity as a Palestinian Druze.