Terre Brulante (1984)

Run Time - 94 min.  |   Countries - Israel  |  
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This is a perceptive story of the gradual deterioration of a traditional way of life and of discrimination against a Sephardic Jewish family living in a Tunisian village in the mid-1950s, when the country gained independence from France. Young people from the village are moving to the cities or to France, although a romantic interlude between the grandson in the family and a young Arab woman does not, in the end, show that the younger generation is free of prejudice. As both nationalism and anti-Jewish feelings rise, the family finds it impossible to continue living in the only home they have ever known. Director Serge Ankri conveys the values of a bygone, uncomplicated lifestyle through the family and its patriarch, who at first cannot believe that this severe discrimination is happening. As an added comment which puts the story in perspective, prologue and epilogue scenes show Israelis bulldozing the former homes of Palestinians on the West Bank of the Jordan -- forcing this minority Arab community into exile, just as the Sephardim were forced out of their Arab-dominated homelands.

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Keywords

independence, love, prejudice