November 18, 2005 (NY)
Studio: Typecast Releasing
Director: Saverio Costanzo
Screenwriter: Saverio Costanzo, Sayed Qashua, Camilla Costanzo, Alessio Cremonini
Starring: Lior Miller, Mohammad Bakri, Tomer Russo, Areen Omari, Hend Ayoub, Karem Emad Hassan Aly, Marco Alsaying, Sarah Hamzeh, Amir Hasayen, Niv Shafir, Sahar Lachmy
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Official Website: Privatethefilm.com
Review: Not Available
DVD Review: Not Available
DVD: Not Available
Movie Poster: Not Available
Production Stills: Not Available
Plot Summary: Inspired by real events, documentary filmmaker Saverio Costanzo's feature debut is a minimalist psychological drama about a Palestinian family of seven suddenly confronted with a volatile situation in their home that in many ways reflects the larger ongoing conflict between Palestine and Israel.
Mohammad, his wife and their five children live in a large, isolated house located halfway between a Palestinian village and an Israeli settlement. The house, in the crossfire of the two sides, is a strategic lookout point that the Israeli army decides to seize, confining the family to a few downstairs rooms in daytime and a single room at night. Mohammad refuses to leave his home and, reinforced by his principles against violence, decides to find a way to keep his family together in the house until the Israeli soldiers move on.
Living in a state of constant confrontation and fear fragments the family's relationships - every member reacts in different ways to the soldier's presence in the house and to the father's authority. Mohammad chooses to stay and defend his home; his wife wants to leave the house in order to keep her children out of danger; their eldest daughter sneaks upstairs to spy on the Israelis; the youngest son amuses himself by imagining unique personalities for each soldier; their teenage son fantasizes about liberating his family by staging a surprise attack. Tensions between the family members and the soldiers nearly reach the breaking point just as the troops are ordered to move to a new post. The family's relief is short-lived, however, as a new group of soldiers moves into the house and the cycle of disruption and occupation continues.
Winner of a Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival, "Private" is convincingly shot in a documentary style with a hand-held camera and a quick pace. Director Costanzo has created a unique occasion for both Israeli and Palestinian actors to work together, and being an outsider himself, he has worked to maintain a neutral standpoint while dramatizing the conflict.