Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

22 May 2015

Beyond the Walls

Some quick thoughts on Uri Barbash's film Beyond the Walls (מאחורי הסורגים) before I forget. This is an Israeli prison film about Jewish and Arab prisoners who band together to strike because of the unjust conditions perpetuated by the prison administrators and because the administrators murder one of the prisoners in cold blood.

It is 1984, and this is a prison film, so (if the thesis of my essay on Fortune and Men's Eyes is correct) that means there will be at least one rape sequence in the movie, or at the very least a discussion of rape. As it happens, there are two rape sequences in the film. 1) There is an attempted-rape sequence that we see: in which the character Pitoosy (Rami Danon) assaults Asaf (Asi Dayan) for being an Arab-lover. He strips him and grabs him sexually and it is a very scary moment, but the other characters prevent Pitoosy from hurting Asaf. 2) In the second sequence we only hear the agony of the character Doron, who is violated. While his violation is happening Pitoosy again speaks to Asaf and explains how everyone has "had a piece" of Doron, who is young, beardless, and pretty.

This rape sequence is actually a very important plot point to the film as a whole, and Doron emerges as a very significant character in the film, even if he is a pawn of all of the factions involved in the prison strike.