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The Ruins of Lifta

Director - Menachem Daum and Oren Rudavsky
Run Time - 77 minutes
Language - English
Format - DVD / Digital Streaming
Year - 2016
Genre - Documentary

Educational Interests - Anthropology, Conflict Resolution, Cultural Studies, History (World), Human Rights, Islam, Jewish Studies, Middle East, Political Science, Religion, World War II

Institutional DVD Price: $295

Lifta is the only Arab village abandoned in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war that has not been completely destroyed or repopulated by Jews. Its ruins are now threatened by an Israeli development plan that would convert it into an upscale Jewish neighborhood. Discovering that his parents' Holocaust experiences may have distorted his views of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Menachem - the filmmaker and an Orthodox Jew from Brooklyn - sets out to establish a personal relationship with a Palestinian. He meets Yacoub, who was expelled from Lifta and now leads the struggle to save the haunting ruins of his village from Israeli plans to build luxury villas on the site. Learning that Lifta was once a place where Jews and Arabs got along, Menachem joins Yacoub's campaign in the hopes that Lifta can serve as a place of reflection and reconciliation. This sets up a climactic encounter between a Holocaust survivor and a Nakba refugee amidst the ruins of Lifta.

"A vital study of loss and memory. Grounded in the art of listening, 'The Ruins of Lifta' builds a powerful, personal, political conversation between Palestinians and Israelis looking to live differently. The result is necessary viewing." - Village Voice

"An achingly poignant documentary that investigates a debate in which dueling narratives collide." - The New York Times

"A thoughtful lesson in history -- and listening. Illuminating." - The Hollywood Reporter

"By turns inspiring and dispiriting, 'The Ruins of Lifta' offers a muscular example of the ability of documentaries to make the political intensely personal." - NPR