By: Vernon Nickerson
Written and directed by Shira Geffen, Self Made tells the story of two women – one Israeli, the other Palestinian- who are trapped within their respective worlds. After a mix-up at a checkpoint, they find themselves living the life of the other on the opposite side of the border. I found the story particularly compelling and provocative because all of it is happening now: middle-aged and senior citizens worldwide are increasingly being impacted by Alzheimer’s. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is ongoing with no visible end in sight.
Actors Sarah Adler who plays Michal, a famous Israeli artist and Samira Saraya, who plays the young Palesitinian woman Nadine are totally captivating in their respective lead roles. They are two of the key players in a world where an entire generation appears to have been raised knowing nothing but lives lived under constant fear of terror and bombs. The resilience of human beings is depicted as couples date and birthdays are celebrated almost in spite of the tension swirling around their world. Welcome comic relief comes in the form of an IKEA-like corporation, “Itaca” and a German television crew who have come to interview Michal and hope to get a scoop on her latest project.
Attention to everyone on either side of the current conflict: perhaps if you traded places for while, the ongoing conflict with its potential for mutually assured destruction would become unacceptable. Who knows, it may also help us find a way to end the Mideast conflict. Go see this entertaining film which deftly blurs the lines between fantasy and reality and decide for yourselves.
Self Made 89 min
Director: Shira Geffen