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The Film

Two young German film makers go to Palestine where, together with Manal,
a Palestinian student from Jenin, they try to find out what really happened on March 31 2002: Shadi Tobassi, a suicide bomber from Jenin, blew himself up in the Arab-owned Matza Restaurant in Haifa, killing 15 people. Among those killed was Dov Chernobroda, an Israeli architect, who for his entire life had tried to bring about a peaceful settlement between Israel and Palestine. Eight years later his wife Yael would like to visit the family of the suicide bomber in Jenin.

Shadi‘s parents still seem to be in a state of shock. „We thought he was going to work just like every other day. He didn‘t even say goodbye,“ says Shadi‘s father with tears in his eyes. In the wall of their former living room there is a gaping hole. In response to the assassination the Israeli army destroyed the whole ground floor. In the explosion concrete blocks had flown through the room. Today clothes lines are hanging here.

Yaël often uses the word „terrorist“ when she speaks of Shadi. And then – for the first time in her life – she is saying his name: „Shadi Tobassi“. It seems to be a part of the process she is going through in her search for inner freedom and a dialogue with the Tobassis: „Every person has a name,“ she says. But she cannot imagine looking him straight in the eyes. On the wall of the Tobassis‘ living room there is a poster-size photograph of Shadi. The thought that she would have to see him in this photo if she came to Jenin is unbearable for Yaël. But she still wants to take this step because her husband would have been the first one to encourage her to do so.

Yaël picks up the telephone receiver and dials the number of the Tobassi family.
The phone rings. A male voice answers. „Shalom? Shalom, my name is Yaël.“

Yaël will go to Jenin in peace to break down the wall of silence.

 

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