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It’s Better to Jump

Directed by: Gina Angelone, Mouna Stewart, Patrick Alexander Stewart
75 Minutes, 2012, Documentary; Other Israel Film Festival

The Northern port city of Acco (Acre) is a mixed (Jewish-Arab) city.  The city’s Palestinian population—both Muslim and Christian, and for the large part “Palestinians of 1948,” who were the residents of Israel when it was granted statehood—has been there for generations. As Acco has become an increasingly-popular tourist destination, however, there has been a concerted push to change the long-standing demographics, resulting in a government-backed push to move Palestinians out of the Old City. In the hands of the filmmakers, a traditional rite of passage in Acco, the act of jumping from the ancient 40-foot seawall, becomes a metaphor for the perilous situation and great bravery of the city’s Palestinian population. A tough, deeply empathetic film that may suggest uneasy parallels between subtler gentrification, as we know it, and actual forced relocation.

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