Screening date: 27-11-2007 -- 19h00
Hot House

Nearly 10,000 Palestinians are incarcerated in Israel today. Most Israelis regard these "security prisoners" as murderers and criminals. To the Palestinians, however, they are freedom fighters, heroes, and martyrs in the making. Granted extraordinary access to the highest-security institutions, renowned filmmaker Shimon Dotan uncovers a startling truth: Israeli prisons have become a breeding ground for the next generation of Palestinian leaders and a hotbed for terrorist plots.

Dotan focuses his camera on everyday prison life. What emerges is a surprising glimpse of the prisoners as informed thinkers who are immersed in the details of the centuries-old conflict through newspapers and television. Dotan interviews inmates who are committed to negotiations as well as others who are shockingly unrepentant about their participation in suicide bombings. The cold-blooded testimony of a female Hamas leader, proudly serving 16 life sentences for blowing up a Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem, is perhaps the most chilling.

Israel's prisons have evolved into virtual incubators for Palestinian nationalism, strengthening inmates' ideology and forging a political force that impacts far beyond their walls. Eschewing the simplistic "white hat, black hat" mentality that dominates discussions of terrorism today, Dotan's brilliantly constructed, disturbingly provocative film is both a humanizing force and an alarming wake-up call.  -- Sundance Film Festival.

Country: Israel
: Momento Productions
Year: 2006
Director: Shimon Dotan
Editing: Ayala ben Gad
Cinematography: Philip Bellaiche, Shai Goldman, Hanna Abu Sada
Music: Ron Klein
Digital Video    color   90 min

Bio/filmography: Shimon Dotan
Repeat Drive (1982)
The Smile of the Lamb (1986)
The Finest Hour (1991)
Warriors (1994)
Coyote Run (1996)
You Can Thank Me Later (1998)
Hot House (2006)
Diamond Dogs (2007)

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Shimon Dotan was born in Romania in 1949 and moved to Israel in 1959. He grew up in an agricultural cooperative, served five years in the Israeli military, and received his BFA from Tel Aviv University, where his student films twice won Israel's Best Short Film and Best Director Awards. His film The Smile of the Lamb received the Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival and the award for best director at the Israeli Academy Awards. He has taught filmmaking at Tel Aviv University and at Concordia University in Montreal and teaches at NYU and at The New School University and is a fellow at the New York Institute for the Humanities. Hot House won The World Cinema Documentary Competition Special Jury Prize at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival

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