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'Settlements' Coming To Tel Aviv Theaters

A screening of Ariel University films this Wednesday features real-life story of young 'hilltop' family.
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 3/3/2014, 12:02 PM

Caravans in Samaria
Caravans in Samaria
Flash 90

Tel Aviv meets the "settlements" this Wednesday, as eight films made by graduates of the film department of Samaria's Ariel University will be screened at Tel Aviv's Cinemateque theater.

One of the most unique films, entitled "Portion," depicts the personal story of director Chen Klein, who lives in the hills of Samaria. Klein spoke to Arutz Sheva, describing her film that allows the Israeli public to know the "settlements" from a personal, even romantic light.

Portion tells the story of Klein, her husband and their infant son living in a caravan on the hilltop community of Nahalat Yosef. According to Klein, not only residents of Tel Aviv but also those from Elon Moreh, adjacent to Nahalat Yosef, stand to learn about life in the sparsely populated hilltop towns from the film.

Klein's pioneering story of encouraging a Jewish presence in the biblical heartland of Israel is fraught with power outages, water shortages, and loneliness, among other difficulties.

"I was surprised in a positive way," said Klein about her colleagues at Ariel University's film course, noting how they were curious and interested when they understood the film potential in her story, being as it was ripe with human drama.

The director found similar interest at screenings in which she requested support in producing the film. Klein reports the wider Israeli public is "thirsty" to hear from the residents of Judea and Samaria, after being fed so much of a negative slanted portrayal by the leftist-leaning media.

'Not political enough'

Klein's film focuses on the trials of a young family dealing with life on a rocky outcropping, without emphasizing the conflict between Jews and Arabs. Aside from the murder of Evytar Borovsky Hy''d, which occurred during the filming, Klein avoids portraying the "conflict."

The choice cost Klein, as certain funds which could have helped in producing the film chose not to do so given that the heads of those funds preferred something that dealt with the conflict and violence to a depiction of actual life in the region.

An additional difficulty Klein faced was having the religious standards of Halacha (Jewish law) met during her studies at Ariel University, which she chose to study at instead of at a religious Zionist school. She notes that her lecturers were sensitive to her religious needs, and informed her in advance when a film that didn't meet her standards of modesty was going to be shown in class, allowing her to step out.

In making the decision to study at Ariel University, Klein noted that alternative religious schools were far away, but also that she wanted an academic degree in order to teach cinema as she currently does at an ulpana girls' high school.