“An explosive documentary.” Télérama
Route 181 offers an unusual vision of the inhabitants of Palestine-Israel, and a common vision of a Palestinian and an Israeli. For more than a year, Khleifi and Sivan dedicated themselves to producing what they considered a cinematic act of faith: a film co-directed by a Palestinian and by an Israeli. In the summer of 2002, for two long months, they travelled together from the south to the north of their country of birth, traced their trajectory on a map and called it ‘route 181’. This virtual line follows the borders outlined in Resolution 181, which was adopted by the United Nations on November 29th 1947 to partition Palestine into two states.
As they travel along this route, they meet women and men, Israeli and Palestinian, young and old, civilians and soldiers, filming them in their everyday lives. Each of these characters has their own way of evoking the frontiers that separate them from their neighbours: concrete, barbed-wire, cynicism, humour, indifference, suspicion, aggression… Frontiers have been built on the hills and in the plains, on mountains and in valleys but above all inside the minds and souls of these two peoples and in the collective unconscious of both societies. With Route 181: Fragments of a Journey in Palestine-Israel, Michel Khleifi and Eyal Sivan take us on a disorientating journey across this tiny territory with vast ramifications.