Against the backdrop of Jerusalem after the Six Day War and the charged encounter between the conquering Israelis and the conquered Palestinians, an intricate and delicate love story unfolds between Nuri, an Israeli government official and Yasmin, a respectable, beautiful Palestinian woman.
Following the Six Day War, Nuri (30), a Jewish Israeli of Iraqi descent, is appointed as the civil representative in East Jerusalem, conquered and occupied by Israel. He tries to use his familiarity with both cultures to bridge the hostility and mis-trust between the two nations. Nuri befriends Abu George, a Palestinian journalist and develops a complex relationship with his daughter, Yasmin (30) who has just returned to East Jerusalem from her PhD studies in Paris.
Nuri is extremely charmed by Yasmin from the first moment: the idea of an independent, intellectual woman coming from the Arabic culture that is so familiar to him, captures his heart. As Nuri delves deeper into his work he is exposed to the travesties that have befallen the citizens of East Jerusalem as a result of its annexation by Israel. He identifies more and more with the residents and is torn between his Jewish Israeli identity along with his desire to assimilate in Israeli society. Yasmin, who recognizes Nuri’s sincerity , changes her attitude and allows him to get closer while she expresses her anger towards what her new friend represents. As they move one step closer, one step away and then one step closer again, their friendship develops into a more intimate, romantic relationship, testing the boundaries of what is possible in this new political reality for the residents of Jerusalem and the whole Middle East after the Six Day War: the Arabs and the Jews, the Israelis and the Palestinians, the conquerors and the conquered– a new, harsh, bitter, complex reality, striving and hoping for some kind of normality and co-existence.
Based on the novel "YASMIN" by Eli Amir
Director Eran Riklis
Screenplay by Yaelle Kayam
Producers Michael Sharfshtein, Moshe Edery, Leon Edery, Eran Riklis
Following my work, one can easily see that the Middle East never stops providing stories I want to tell, issues I want to deal with, emotions I want to explore and bring to my audiences. YASMIN goes back to the roots, to the heart of the conflict in 1967 when the map of the Middle East changed - possibly forever. The setting is fascinating, almost virgin territory and yet one that provides us with all the future wrongs and rights of the Israeli-Palestinian-Arab story with all its complexes, complications, emotions, bad blood, hate and violence. But as always, I care about people. I care about the human aspect.
Based on a wonderful book by Eli Amir, this promises to be a deep and haunting exploration of the roots of the current, never ending situation in the Middle East, a timeless story, a local Romeo and Juliet and yet one that is bound and connected to its locality while maintaining a universal clarity and appeal.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Eli Amir was born in Baghdad, Iraq. He immigrated to Israel with his family in 1950. From 1964 to 1968 he served as adviser on Arab affairs to the Prime Minister of Israel. Over the years he wrote novels that depicted the fragility and complexity of the Jewish nation and the relationships with the Arabs. His novels include: Scapegoat, The Dove Flyer, Saul’s Love and Yasmin.