HOTHOUSE (Shimon Dotan, Israel). 89 minutes. Subtitled. April 26, 7 pm, Royal; April 29, 7:15 pm, Bloor. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
Detained Palestinian men and women candidly rattle off their atrocious terrorist crimes. And they describe an Israeli prison system that allows them to organize and educate themselves to become better leaders in their cause. The rapport between Israeli jailers and Palestinian inmates is as idyllic as you'd ever want to see, and yet, in these circumstances, it seems very wrong.
When a Palestinian mother learns a bomb she helped set off at a restaurant in Jerusalem killed eight children, she doesn't flinch, and one inmate wants to have children when he's released - to offer them as suicide bombers.
Shimon Dotan's penetrating camera offers no easy answers or single point of view, just a complex state of affairs that'll leave you stunned. He makes great use of Palestinian election footage to demonstrate how inmates run for and win seats in Parliament. If not for the monotonous repetition of crimes and sentences, this would be a perfect documentary.