7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Salt Of This Sea (DVD)
Anyone who has gone through an oppressive search by the TSA knows how humiliating and disempowering it can be. But, as we see in the opening scene of Salt of this Sea, it's nothing compared to the routine degradation inflicted on Palestinians by Israeli security forces.
Brooklyn-born Palestinian Soraya (Suheir Hammad) has always longed to take a roots journey back to her grandparents' homeland, from which they were forcibly exiled in 1948. But her experience turns dark from these very first moments after touchdown at the airport, when she is repeatedly interrogated and searched for no reason other than her surname. Things go from bad to worse when a British-controlled bank in the West Bank city of Ramallah refuses her request for her grandfather's long-vanished money.
She and her disillusioned lover Emad (Saleh Bakri) and his filmmaker friend Marwan (Riyad Ideis) respond to the rampant injustices by committing a crime and going on the lam in Israel, where they end up at her grandfather's old home, now owned by an idealistic young Jewish woman who has no clue as to the history embedded in the beautiful tiles on the kitchen floor.
Through the starkly discrepant treatment our protagonists receive on the streets and at military checkpoints, depending on whether or not the men are sporting yarmulkes, award-winning director Annemarie Jacir powerfully illustrates the day-to-day injustices experienced by Palestinians in Israel.
The excellent acting and cinematography allow us to forgive the somewhat incredible stubbornness of our rebellious protagonist, who insists on maintaining her honesty and political principles in spite of grave risks to both herself and her newfound friends.
Overall, this is an important film that gives witness to the experiences of a displaced minority whose perspectives are rarely seen on film. I highly recommend it.