At this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Euromed Audiovisual spoke to Elie Marotitz, the producer of Sharqiya, an Israeli film presented at the festival’s Film Market.
Sharqiya, selected for the Panorama section at this year’s Berlinale, tells the story of Camel Najer, a young Bedouin who works as a security guard at a central bus station in Israel. Nobody respects him: neither his family, nor his colleagues. When the Israeli government threatens to tear down his village, he decides to act. Camel comes up with the plan to stage a bomb attack, that he will then prevent from happening to become the hero of the day, hopefully saving his village from demolition and earning him the respect he's so desperately yearning for.
“The screenwriter had this idea a long time ago, maybe five or six years ago, following a strange event in Israel,” explains the film's producer, Elie Marovitz. “There was a Bedouin security guard who stopped a terrorist and the bomb exploded, and the security guard was injured very badly. At the same time, his home was demolished.”
“We didn’t want to make a political film,” he says. “We wanted to make a film about a Bedouin man who doesn’t integrate, who wants to belong in his world with the Israelis and who wants to belong at home with his family, [but] neither works for him. The demolition and the village is [...] in the background, because that's really their life, that's how they live.”
Watch the video in English.
More videos and interviews: