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