8 wins & 3 nominations See more »
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.