"CIRCUS PALESTINA" (Kerkas Palesrina)
1997, 83 minutes
Screenplay and Director: Eyal Halfon
Producers: Chaim Sharir, Uri Sabag, Einat Bikel, Marek Rosenbaum
Actors: Yivgenia Dodina, Yoram Hatab, Amos Lavi, Bassam Zuamut, Vladimir Friedman
Once upon a time, and this really happened, a medium sized circus arrived from Europe to the Holy Land, and all the troubles in the world came falling upon its rickety tent. Debts accumulated, animals getting sick, clowns running away, and the circus owner has trouble finding an audience or a place to place the tent that was once magnificent. At this point our story begins. Ibrahim Suss, a controversial Palestinian entrepreneur, proposes to the Circus owner to transfer the gradually diminishing business to a wholly different location. A place they have never seen the likes of in any of their wandering. In this at least, Ibrahim is correct. A few moments after the story begins, the circus motorcade arrives at a small, picturesque and dilapidated village on the West Bank.
Until that day, most of the village's acclaim had come to it from the fact that the villagers were the quickest stolen car dismantlers in the territories. Above the village are the houses of the problematic "Maale El" settlement. Ibrahim Suss' entrepreneur initiative doesn't even make it to the end of the first performance. Shweik the lion, the symbol of the circus and its main attraction, failed to overcome temptation and escaped, a moment before going on stage. Those who understand lions say he ran away to get laid, those who love him understand that he ran away in order to taste a little freedom. Whichever is true, in an area saturated with problems, there is now a real lion on the loose.
The film won the Israeli Academy awards for best Film, Lead Actor, Supporting Actor, Screenplay and Soundtrack.
Produced with the assistance of the Israeli Film Fund