Inspired by writer-director Orit Fouks Rotem’s own experiences as a teacher, CINEMA SABAYA presents a deft and heartfelt portrait of art’s capacity to unite disparate communities, moving effortlessly between heavy conversations and the genuine joy shared amongst an unlikely group of friends. Israel’s Official Submission to the 95th Academy Awards and winner of five Ophir Awards including Best Picture and Best Director.
A group of Palestinian and Israeli women attend a video workshop at a small town community center run by Rona (Dana Ivgy), a young filmmaker from Tel Aviv, who teaches them to document their lives. As each student shares footage from her home life with the others, their beliefs and preconceptions are challenged and barriers are broken down. The group comes together as mothers, daughters, wives, and women living in a world designed to keep them apart, forming an empowering and lasting bond as they learn more about each other... and themselves.
In Arabic and Hebrew with English subtitles.
“Cinema Sabaya, a quietly affecting little film about unexpected connections and unseen sorrows, shimmers with a bright optimism about how people might overlook one another’s differences if only they took a little time to learn about each other.” Kyle Smith, Wall Street Journal
“The film is full of life, love, humor and authenticity without being didactic. At the same time, it cleverly questions the ethics and responsibility of filmmaking.” Alissa Simon, Variety