The Lesson

92 Minutes, 2012
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Directed by: Anat Zuria
Production:Sigal Landesberg, Anat Zuria
Languages: Hebrew, Arabic
| Subtitles not available

Anat Zuria’s film brings us Leila’s story who, after more than 200 driving lessons, hires Nimar as her new driving instructor. Both are outsiders in East Jerusalem. Egyptian-born Leila was married at the age of 14 and moved to Israel with her husband; Nimar, meanwhile, was forced to cross over to the Israeli side of town following the construction of the West Bank Separation Barrier which now, effectively divided his neighbourhood of Beit Hanina. where he lives, in two.
In the course of the driving lessons, a friendship is struck up. And through their intimate conversations, Leila’s fascinating life story unfolds, as she insists on pressing on with living her best life, despite the many blows life has delivered her. Leila would like to return to her home in [the Palestinian Christian town of] Beit Jala in the West Bank, which is why she needs a driving licence (as there is no public transport to or from there.) During the lessons, we also learn of one of her daughters, Hagar’s relationship with her Jewish partner whom she wants to marry – and the many added tensions that this has brought into their mother-daughter relationship.
The Lesson won Best Documentary at the Haifa International Film Festival.

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