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Garden

Director: Ruth Shatz and Adi Barash

Israel| 2003. English subtitles. Colour. Digital video. 90 min.


Garden is the run-down section of Tel Aviv where young gay prostitutes and drug addicts gather. Over the course of a year, filmmakers Ruth Shatz and Adi Barash filmed two young men who have made Garden their home. The camera never feels obtrusive as it follows Nino, a 17-year-old Palestinian living illegally in Israel, and 18-year-old Dudu, an Israeli Arab. With no imposed voiceover, Garden lets its subjects tell their own story. This leads to a level of intimacy which makes it heartbreaking to watch the boys discuss the abuse they both suffered in childhood, their struggles with drug addiction, their run-ins with the law and the ever-present political unrest of the region. Which is not to say that Garden is a pessimistic film. In the midst of this tragedy, we are given a truly touching portrait of the caring, loyal and protective friendship that Dudu and Nino share.

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