Director: Guy Nattiv, Erez Tadmor
Screenwriters: Guy Nattiv, Erez Tadmor

Institute History

  • 2008 Sundance Film Festival


If you’ve ever been swept up in a love affair that leaves you dizzy (or wanted to be), you will find yourself viscerally entwined with Strangers, Erez Tadmor and Guy Nattiv’s riveting story of impossible love—based on their 2004 award-winning Festival short.

An Israeli kibbutznik, Eyal, and a Palestinian living in Paris, Rana, both descending on Berlin for the World Cup finals, meet accidentally when their identical backpacks get switched on the subway. This chance encounter turns into three days of magnetic attraction as they fall in love amidst crowds of roaring soccer fans. But as Rana jets suddenly and inexplicably back to Paris, the second Israel-Lebanon war breaks out, and a conflicted Eyal decides to search for Rana in spite of it all. Once in Paris, harsh realities of displacement, opposing opinions on the war, allegiances, and responsibilities test their bond. Yet it is on Europe’s neutral ground that Rana and Eyal are somehow able to transcend deep wounds of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and relate as individuals. Their inextricably linked history and common homeland, certainly a source of discord, also seem to generate an intrinsic intimacy between them.

Shot largely hand held and fueled by powerfully immediate, improvisational performances against the backdrop of real events in summer 2006, Strangers reflects the urgency and freshness of a younger generation seeking to reconnect with and humanize the “enemy” in their midst.

(Archives note: see also the earlier short film, Strangers.)

— Caroline Libresco

Screening Details

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