airport_transferbarbathtubbusiness_facilitieschild_activitieschildcareconnecting_roomcribsfree_wifigymhot_tubinternetkitchennon_smokingpetpoolresturantski_in_outski_shuttleski_storagesmoking_areaspastar
Sign In
Documentary Review: Between Fences
Save to wishlist

Documentary Review: Between Fences

Picture of Lotte Beilin
Updated: 29 December 2016
For the last few years, thousands of African asylum seekers have been sent to a Holot Detention Center in the middle of Israel’s Negev Desert where they are being held indefinitely and without charge. The asylum seekers are allowed out of the vicinity and are given the freedom to wander the barren, boundless desert that surrounds them, but the roll call three times a day and its isolated location makes it difficult for it to seem unlike a prison.

In the documentary Between Fences, filmmaker Avi Mograbi goes to meet some of the African asylum seekers outside of the Holot detention center and spends many hours with them. He and director Chen Alon initiate a theater workshop in an abandoned ex-army artillery storage space, located just outside the detention center. Through theater, they give the asylum seekers the opportunity to confront their own experiences, to re-tell their own stories, and to address the injustices that they have faced under the Israeli government.

Between Fences | © Philippe Bellaiche
Between Fences | © Philippe Bellaiche

The documentary acts as an introduction on the state of refugees in Israel – or more accurately on their non-state, for there is no such legal status in that country. The open ending and the many questions left without an answer is prophetic, as up until now there have been no satisfactory solutions given by anyone, anywhere to alleviate the suffering of these people. Between Fences is an extremely moving account of the realities of the African asylum seekers who live in Israel. It raises the controversial questions of the status of asylum seekers in Israel.

Between Fences | © Philippe Bellaiche
Between Fences | © Philippe Bellaiche

Between Fences is screening at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem cinematheques.