Synopsis

Italian filmmaker Saverio Costanzo based his feature debut, Private, on a true story of a Palestinian family whose home was taken over by a platoon of Israeli soldiers. In the film, the family lives in between a Palestinian village and an Israeli settlement, making their home a strategic point for the Israelis. Mohammad (well-known Palestinian actor Mohammad Bakri, who also directed the documentary Jenin, Jenin), the schoolteacher father, refuses to let his family abandon their home, despite the protestations of his frightened wife, Samia (Areen Omari). While the younger children seem traumatized by the invasion, eldest daughter Mariam (Hend Ayoub) can barely control her rage toward the Israelis, and is disgusted by her father's seeming passivity. The Israeli commander, Ofer (Israeli television actor Lior Miller), locks the family in their living room each night, and warns them that the second floor is off-limits, but Mariam sneaks upstairs, and is surprised at what she finds as she spies on the soldiers while hiding inside a wardrobe. The eldest son, Yusef (Amir Hasayen), is also angry, though he doesn't say much. But he's determined to make sure that the soldiers don't tear down the family's greenhouse again. Private won the Golden Leopard at the 2004 Locarno Film Festival, and was selected by the Museum of Modern Art and the Film Society of Lincoln Center for inclusion in the 2005 edition of New Directors/New Films. ~ Josh Ralske, Rovi

Provided by Rovi