A Film Never Completed

Representing Social Relations in a Mixing Neighbourhood

in Anthropology of the Middle East
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  • 1 Sapir Academic College regev@umich.edu
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This is a story and analysis of a film production that has never materialised. The case study features a group of neighbourhood residents who wished to produce a film representing their experiences of living in a mixed neighbourhood in the northern Israeli city of Haifa, where Jews and Arabs live together. The ethnography of their work documents the incommensurability between the social interactions within the group and the content of the film’s script. While the group dynamic reflected the mixing atmosphere of the neighbourhood, their script succumbed to the hegemonic discourse of separation in Israel and to steering away from ambiguities. The group’s aspiration to create a realistic representation required a political and visual language that was not available as an objective possibility and thus was challenging to imagine.

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