THIS IS MY LAND

By Tamara ERDE

ILIADE & FILMS - as PROD

Documentary - Completed 2014

How do the Palestinian and Israeli (Arab and Jewish) education systems teach the history of their nations? This Is My Land follows several Israeli and Palestinian teachers over one academic year.

Festivals
& Awards

Toronto - TIFF 2014
TIFF Docs
Hamptons 2014
Haïfa International film festival 2014
Festival européen des Arcs 2014
Cinemed Montpellier 2014
Philadelphia International Film Festival 2014
Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival 2014
Singapore International film festival 2014
    • Year of production
    • 2014
    • Genres
    • Documentary
    • Countries
    • FRANCE
    • Languages
    • ENGLISH
    • Duration
    • 93 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Tamara ERDE
    • Synopsis
    • Through intimate portraits of history teachers and close observations of their pupils, the film reveals the different approach of the two public education systems to teach the complex and charged narrative of their country’s history. The chosen schools are set in locations that emphasize the changing daily life of the conflict - in Jerusalem, The North of Israel, Nablus, Ramallah and a colony.
      The film interweaves the stories of the teachers and their classes in parallel, constructing for the viewer the different and sometimes opposing universes of the teachers and their schools. We film the teachers sharing their beliefs, motivations, and dreams, in dialogue with students in and outside the classroom, at national ceremonies, at special school events and on school trips.
      Teaching a nation’s history, especially teaching about its often controversial and sometimes painful historical events, is difficult. History is forever a subject of interpretations, deformations and selective choices. When it comes to teaching it, those questions are even more present. Then, if we look at a situation in which two nation’s histories are still being created, written, everyday, in which the teachers and pupils are living under occupation or in existential fear, where the conflict is still in its midst, these questions and dilemmas are even more problematic.
      For some of the teachers it is a living dilemma, while for others it remains a profession, clear facts to teach from a book. This film follows teachers who are conscious of the role of history in the construction of individual and national identity, and who, each from their own side, and in their own style, ask difficult questions about “ the history” they should teach, and their choices around it.
      In one component there seems to be an over-all agreement among the teachers from all sides – The ability of a teacher to shape and determine the pupil’s mind and opinions, is profound and infinite. And thus the leading question – Does education in those two states serve as a peace motor, or is it a tool used by the governments to oil the wheels of war? Every school and teacher may present for the viewers a different answer.
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