Muhi – Generally Temporary

MUHI - Generally Temporary (Rina Castelnuovo-Hollander, Tamir Elterman, Israel). 86 minutes. Rating: NNNN Gaza-born Muhi has been in an Israeli hospital since he.


MUHI – Generally Temporary (Rina Castelnuovo-Hollander, Tamir Elterman, Israel). 86 minutes. Rating: NNNN


Gaza-born Muhi has been in an Israeli hospital since he was an infant, when doctors – possibly as a result of a medical error – had to amputate his arms and legs in order to save his life.

He lives inside the institution with his devoted grandfather, only occasionally getting outside. Though visiting back home could be dangerous for his health, the key reason his movements – and those of his family – are so restricted is that they’d have to pass three checkpoints (one Israeli, two Palestinian) and permits are almost impossible to get.

Charming, very intelligent – by age four he’s speaking both Arabic and Hebrew (much to the dismay of his family) – and extremely articulate, Muhi is, astonishingly, a happy child, lovingly cared for by the Israeli hospital staff. But he’s despondent when his mother finally visits and then leaves.

The filmmakers don’t take sides. Or as Muhi’s grandfather’s good friend, an Israeli human rights activist, puts it, “Both sides are shits.”

This doc is a powerful metaphor for the intractable conflict in the Middle East. Life there could be happy, if only.

Apr 29, 6 pm, Scotiabank 3 May 1, 1 pm, TIFF 3

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