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The Inner Tour
The Inner Tour
Actor: West Bank Palestinians
Director: Ra'anan Alexandrowicz
Genres: Indie & Art House, Special Interests, Documentary
NR     2004     1hr 38min

Controversially divisive in the Israeli press for its sympathetic portrayal of Palestinian citizens, THE INNER TOUR (Official selection, Sundance Film Festival, 2002) is a fascinating and humanistic portrait of ordinary pe...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: West Bank Palestinians
Director: Ra'anan Alexandrowicz
Genres: Indie & Art House, Special Interests, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Religion & Spirituality, Religion
Studio: Zeitgeist Films
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 09/28/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 38min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: Arabic, English, Hebrew
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

"I don't know whether to cry for what it was or what it will
anomie | 06/17/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Israeli director Ra'anan Alexandrowicz's documentary "The Inner Tour" takes a different, meditative look at the Israeli/Palestinian problem. He follows a group of Palestinians who take a tour bus from the West Bank through the "Green Line" into Israel, and films their reactions and comments as they visit various tourist sites. The tourists are an assorted bunch, but a large portion of them live in various refugee camps. For the younger Palestinians, traveling to Israel is a visit to new vistas, but for the older Palestinians, this is an emotional journey to where they used to live.

One of the men on the tour carries a 1948 map and refers to it frequently to remind himself of the location of vanished Palestinian towns and villages. One of the women on the tour is a widow whose husband was shot by Israeli soldiers when he returned home to the refuge camp from work one evening. She raises her children in poverty with an iron fist, and when it comes to childrearing she finds much to discuss with a younger Palestinian woman whose husband is serving a life sentence for killing an Israeli soldier.

One of the most interesting sequences takes place when the bus unloads at a kibbutz. The Palestinian tourists mingle with the kibbutz dwellers and exchange ideas. The tour guide at the kibbutz delivers his piece about the history of the kibbutz, and then proceeds to show the proliferation of the kibbutz movement by the use of a graphic that lights up the number of kibbutz by year, and they increase rapidly all over the map--especially after 1948 due to the fallout (immigration) from the Holocaust. It's interesting to note the tour guide's use of words as he describes fighting "Arab gangs." Later the Palestinians note to one another that the "gangs" were the Arab army. At the beginning of the kibbutz sequence, one feels a certain optimism--these two vastly different groups of people sit and discuss topics and discover they have much in common. The official guide dispels this sense of common humanity, however--there's such dissonance between the two groups when it comes to the history of how the displacement of the Palestinians occurred.

One of the most emotional sequences takes place when a young man (who has been busily videotaping the trip) manages to see his mother. She lives in Lebanon, but since he's Palestinian, he's not allowed to visit. They see one another only from the distance of several hundred yards, with barbed wire and fences to keep them apart. It's an emotional sighting for both of them, and they each manage to lob small packages to one another across the barbed wire fencing.

This is a slow-paced, quiet, thought-provoking film shot right before the 2000 Infantada, and since then bus tours have been suspended--displacedhuman"
Surprising in its insights...unexpected in its scope.
Desertwriter | 02/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I accidentally stumbled upon this film...not particularly looking for an Israeli filmmaker's perspective, however I was moved and impressed with the sensitivity of how carefully this story was told. Israel thru the eyes of an exiled Palestinian group.
It unfolds only shortly before the 2000 Intifada erupts at the end of filming. A small busload of Palestinians who long to see loved ones or their family homesteads or villages must take a tour into Israel (with permits of course) in order to visit "next door". There is no irony except for that fact alone. The neighboring state is a changed landscape for many yet we see thru the eyes of an elderly Palestinian man who had not been home in decades yet who finds his way to his son's grave to pray not far from the highway they travel to return home after their 3 day foray. They travel from Ram Allah to Galili. One young man communicates his location via cell and is actually able to have an 8 meter tearful glimpse of his family thru a border fence near Lebanon, a wave and loving exchange with his mother and fling envelopes at each other of photos and messages with hearts breaking at their separation. There are moments of humor, remembrance and pragmatism. With separation even more profound now this film records the pre-intifada with poignancy."
Give up simple opinions about the Palestinian conflict
Stuart Berman | Grand Rapids, MI United States | 03/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I was impressed by the perspectives and handling of the material. The film shows various Palestinian thoughts about Israel as a group tours various Israeli sites. The viewpoints are sympathetic to the Palestinian cause even though the film was produced by Israelis. It is remarkable in that it is rare to see this kind of film which does not revert to the typical rhetoric between sides.

The film reveals both flaws in the Palestinian positions as well as the reality and deep convictions of their positions. (An example is the irony of Palestinians wandering throughout Israel and Jewish settlements and sites - whereas it is hard to imagine the reverse - unless you recall the rhetoric and images of people's heads being sawn off.)

The most poignant moment for me was when the wife of a convicted Palestinian killer wonders what the mother of the Jewish victim would feel about her. This film is not for someone looking to justify a simple view of the conflict. You have to be willing to see the 'sides' as real people with depth, feelings and pain."