Wall of Shame

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By Hugo Foster

Georgi Lazarevski's new film, 'This Way Up', follows the lives of residents of Our Lady of Pains, a senior citizens home for Palestinians just east of Jerusalem in the shadow of the under-construction Israeli wall of separation which divides Palestinian populations in East Jerusalem and the West Bank from one another. As new sections of the wall are added day by day, the elderly residents become more and more cut off from the outside world, particularly from visits from their loved ones and the staff who to them.

In reporting on war, much attention is devoted to the most overt forms of suffering caused by death, injury and destruction. With beautiful imagery and much humour, Lazrarevski's film is a really welcome testament to how the daily grind of life under occupation, caused particularly by restrictions on movement, can be just as significant in making ordinary civilian lives a humiliating and miserable experience.

'This Way Up' is being screened as part of the Human Rights Watch film festival. If you get a chance to see it (especially if in New York in June), it's well worth it.