Features Competition

These Woods

Screening Schedule:

Fri. 10/12 | 11:45 | Cinematheque

Israel, 2021, 85 min.

Moroccan, French, Hebrew. Heb. and Eng. Sub.

Dir. Ronen Zaretsky, Yael Kipper

Sat. 18/12 | 14:00 | Cinematheque

The events on which the plot axis is based occurred in a town in the Galilee Mountains called Maalot in November 1961. In Maalot, like many other places in young Israel, immigrants from North Africa were sent to do workfare jobs. The work mainly consisted of digging pits intended for planting tree seedlings that will grow to become forests. The aim was to provide immigrants with livelihood and employment, but things got complicated.

The immigrant workers’ labor demands were constantly changing. When daily work quotas were set for digging 90 pits, everything exploded. Feeling humiliated and deceived, hundreds of immigrants protested and rioted against the decision. Police officers were called to the scene and in the clashes, many were wounded, and indictments were filed. One of the immigrants hung a sheet painted with a swastika on the roof of his house and was sent to prison.
Similar uprisings began to emerge in many other places.
The film describes the realities of immigrant lives, the intersection of cultures and the personal, familial, and national change that was imposed upon them and that still resonates today.