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Free Zone

The movie "Free Zone" began with extremely long long cut that Jewish American woman who's acted by Natalie Portman was crying in the back seat of car. The incantation like theme song as a metaphor of "a chain of retaliation" was on the BGM. Finally, she rolled down the window. The cool and humid air came inside with ambient sound. It was the ringing church bell and the voice of Adhan from mosque. Gathering from the two sounds overlapping each other and BGM, you could guess it's a kind of special place, Jerusalem.
Then now, standing on the hill, I hear the exact sounds I heard at my feet. It's so impressive.

Jerusalem has a strong character. The old city is like stone made maze and filled up with tourists. On the both side of narrow alley, souvenir shop keepers always try to make a business with passing tourists. A group of catholic pilgrimage tour group is passing by with singing a hymn and carrying a huge wooden cross. Young soldiers in their military service take a snap photo with the western wall back ground. They never make you boring. Of course, the city itself has fascination as attracting the people from the world.

Beginning with the King David of Hebrew in BC1000, Kingdom of Judah, Babylonia, Alexander, the Roman Empire, Umayyad, Crusaders, Mamuluk, Ottoman ... Jerusalem has occupied many nations and flourished as a capital.
Later, the city became a front line of conflict between Jewish and Palestine.
From the religious stand point, Jerusalem is sacred place for Judaism where temple of Jerusalem built. Now a part of the temple are conserved as "the Western Wall" and attract many Jewish people. On the other hand, the city is an another sacred place for Christian. This is the place where Christ was died and resurrected. "The Church of Holy Sepulcher" is full of tourists. Furthermore, the Temple mount (Haram Ash-Sharif) is known as the place Mohammed was raised to the skies. Later "the Dome of the Rock" was built on the mount. It means here is a holy place to Muslims too.

Looking up the long history, Jerusalem looks like a thick colored paintings which has been repainted over and over. With little digging, you hardly see the base canvas. It's so thick. There are numerous place which never had human history on the planet. In contrast, on Jerusalem, this tiny spot of world map, the thick layer of colors are put. It's so interesting and ironical.
You can feel the thick colors in architectures, people, sounds and smell of the city. With no doubt, Jerusalem is one of the most attractive cities for me.

Now back to the movie "Free Zone". It's a road movie in documentary taste. Jewish business woman, which is performed by Hanna Lazlo, picked up the Jewish American girl (N.Portman) and went to free trade zone in Jordan, called Free Zone, for business. The business partner was Palestinian woman, performed by Hiam Abbas.
Jewish, Arabic and Jewish American, each character and situation was well described. So if you familiar with each people, you could agree with that. I shouldn't talk too much. But just one thing. If you expect happy ending with this quite positive title, You would be betrayed. It must be still hard to make a happy story with Israel/Palestine issue indeed.

Nov. 2011

Today's piece
" The Western Wall and young Israeli soldiers " Jerusalem 2010

fumikatz osada photographie