Yet Abu Lashin's desire to bring the ring to his hometown of Nazareth is also his downfall, as he finds himself on unsure footing against an opponent much bigger than him: Middle Eastern politics.
It was in 1998 that I first came across the story of Johar Abu Lashin. A small news item in the back-pages of a local Israeli newspaper reported: a world champion boxer, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, defeated only by the flags he has waved upon victory (first Israeli, then Palestinian) is trying to make a comeback in the Middle East. My curiosity led me all the way to a small town in Eastern Tennessee to meet the man behind the story. Immediately, I was struck by Johar’s inner contradictions-sensitive and vulnerable yet hard and volatile. The first thing I look for when I make a documentary is the inner drama of the character.
Raging Dove is the story of an individual: a man’s trajectory, his ups and downs, his struggle to overcome, triumph, succeed, or at least not fail. Johar Abu Lashin is a Palestinian by birth, an Israeli by circumstance, and an American by choice (though by and large Palestinians regard him as a collaborator, Israelis as an enemy, and Americans as a foreigner). As such, not only are none of these identities complete, they also fragment him. A man in constant battle with himself, the only place where he truly feels whole, or at home, is in the ring.
Documentary | Israel, USA | 2002
Hebrew, English, Arabic
Subtitles: French, Arabic, Hebrew, English
Director: Duki Dror & Tzachi Schiff
Script: Galia Engelmayer Dror
Cinematography: Philippe Bellaiche
Editor: Sara Salomon
Original Music: Israel Bright