I pray for the day when I will stop cringing about my nationality. The day I will feel proud to say I am from Israel and not coil into a string of excuses and explanations about the country and the politics that do not represent who I am.

I wanted to make a film about the “occupiers” about the jail in which the Zionist narrative of Israel has mentally and emotionally imprisoned both Israelis and Jews. I wanted to make a film that would reflect the impossible contradictions of being born in Israel to a liberal Jewish family. I did not want to tell my story through the experience of Palestinians, nor tell another story of the occupation, I rather focused on how Israel’s narrative imprisoned my own identity.

The characters in the film all represent an amplification of my voice. A voice, that contains all the facets of what I feel and who I am. I use my camera to capture the complex fabric of daily life, one which express my single complete voice. My voice is my family and those I love and care for. In the few years before my father died we often took walks together. He was the sort of father who challenged me to think about the times in which we lived. He drew his vast knowledge from the books he always referred to as “his best friends”. He once told me “we were cursed for being from Jerusalem.” His reason was that maybe there would never be an end to the strife in the place we called “home”, or that we would always care about a place even if we wanted to turn our backs on it. The sort of curse that falls upon those responsible for the destruction of the very place they want to belong to.

The “Jewish homeland” was never organic to our family experience – it was a choice. I was born into that choice and my father, was led there by his parents when escaping Europe. We believed in Peace yet lived in Arab homes deserted in 1948, we believed in co-existence yet never learned the language of the other. This very premise led to a basketful of contradictions that were to simultaneously exist within our daily lives. One people’s tragedy created the other people’s tragedy. These were not two stories but one.

Before my father died he sold his home in Jerusalem and made sure I understood his position against my ever returning there. He was so passionate and adamant about his feelings that it was almost impossible

for me not to go back when he died. He tried to make a me a woman of the world, but something deep was missing in my life, and while I could intellectually justify his reasoning, I could never rid myself of my need to make a difference. When I chose to go back home, I knew what we were facing, and Philip my partner was far more positive than I was about the possibilities and importance of doing so. What happened over the course of the next three years became a complete unexpected attachment to a place I both loved and hated.

My need to return and remain in Jerusalem was really as simple as wanting to go home. Jerusalem is home, a home impossible to live in yet it captures us so that we never – I never – quite feel at home anywhere else. I would say this about Israel but in the film it is Jerusalem. In all this pain there is a very great deal of love, a situation, which makes our condition and that of so many like us a very sad and contradictory one.

The film in its entirety is not an intellectual political journey but a profoundly sincere emotional one. The moments of “grace” whether it is the snow fall, the ride on the train, the walk by the water, the way in which my family is photographed – all hold within them my love and attachment and deep desire to make our lives work.