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Cordonia, 1950. This all but abandoned migrant camp is home to its last two remaining families: one Iraqi and the other, Polish. The Bassris came to Israel from a very wealthy background. At the age of 15, matriarch Marcelle married a man whom she has since come to despise. Marcelle passes this deep-seated hatred onto her children; her eldest son who, on arrival in Israel was whisked off to a kibbutz as part of a youth immigrant organisation, and 12-year-old, teenage girl. Alongside the hate, she is also fostering false hope for this great, imminent change in her life that will come with the help of her brother, Ezra, a successful Jewish Agency envoy. The other family hails from Poland and moved to Israel for ideological reasons. The mother, a trained teacher, tries to breathe life into the “impossible”, but she, too, in times of crisis and despair, finds herself doubting the “Zionist truth”.
Both family patriarchs work as carriage inspectors at the local railway station nearest to the camp. The film opens on a stormy winter’s night and ends in the month of May, after Marcelle has a premature but healthy baby. Both families, all packed and ready to go, await their coveted relocation to the big city however, a cloud of uncertainty – be it bureaucratic or fatalistic – hangs over their heads.
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