< Back

77 Steps

Directed by: Ibtisam Mara’ana
56 Minutes, 2010, Drama; Other Israel Film Festival; Romance

This is the personal journey of the director who leaves her Arab-Muslim village and moves to Tel Aviv. While searching for an apartment, she encounters discrimination by most landlords because of her Arab origins. She finally finds an apartment, and meets her neighbor – Jonathan, a Jewish-Canadian man who immigrated to Israel. A love story ensues. Ibtisam joins a left-wing political party (Meretz) and runs for the Knesset. On New Year’s Eve 2009, Israel invades Gaza. Hundreds are killed. Ibtisam resigns from her party because of its support of the War. She struggles over her Palestinian identity, but does not relinquish her relationship with Jonathan. Yet something has gone sour. Jonathan’s family refuses to meet his girlfriend. Jonathan says: “They can’t forgo their image of their future daughter-in-law – Jewish, white and English-speaking.” Ibtisam is also unable to reveal her relationship to her mother. One day, Jonathan’s grandfather comes from Canada on a nostalgic trip to Kibbutz Ein-Dor, which he helped found in 1948. Ibtisam and Jonathan join him. It becomes an individual journey for each one of them – one that takes them back in time and into the unknown, to memories and dreams, Nakba and independence, love and hate, longing and loss.