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
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
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.
" The Western Wall and young Israeli soldiers " Jerusalem 2010