. . . the youth replies "I can" [Ralph Waldo Emerson]. It was the last weekend in the month, must be a Film Soc night. Was to have been on Saturday but it was bumped 24 hours so that our neighbour Mike could rest in peace in the church next door - and tea and sangwiches could be served in the hall where we usually show films. For November, the selection committee for the Blackstairs Films-with-subtitles Society picked Wajib, a road movie by Palestinian director Annemarie Jacir. Thelma and Louise it ain't; but it's an interesting unpicking of the challenges of living with other people while being true to your own values.
red trousers, a pink shirt and his long hair tied up in a bun. But he casts fresh exile's eyes on the invisible background of his birth-place: the streets are awash with domestic refuse . . . and soldiers in uniform come into the same falafel-and-houmous place where him and his Dad go for a mid-morning snack. It's like the propaganda gables [above R] in housing estates in The North in the 1970s - they were just there for the kids who lived round the corner.
And all the time, both father and son have to button their lips about the failings of others and soldier on through the social mine-field that is a small tight-knit society. The stress exposes the generational difference: the younger man can act on his principles with righteous anger because he has nothing to lose but his life; and all young men know they will live forever. The father has far more hostages to irredeemable misfortune: his children, his home, his carefully built standing in society (he's a teacher). His principles are tempered by pragmatism, and perhaps by compassion: it's easier for everyone if you tell a few white lies so that your neighbour's cosy belief system is not challenged. Just like any community, in fact.
If you're intrigued by the tribulations of living in Israel and like falafel you might check out the late lamented Anthony Bourdain's 45min programme about eating in Jerusalem.