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Raging Dove

"Riveting boxing film ... raw and gripping ... outstanding film!"
Dox Magazine
"I'm the only Arab-Israeli-Palestinian-Muslim-Baptist-American World Champion I know"
Johar Abu Lashin

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    The three Darwish brothers, who immigrated from Iraq to Israel in the 50’s, established the family factory “Fantasia” - a menorah factory. For a time period of 50 years they designed, manufactured and shipped Chanukah menorahs for the entire world and now…the family factory is about to close down. From this point in time, the director, who is the son of the youngest brother, is starting to embark on a journey that unravels the history of his family, going back 100 years. The story weaves memories from Iraq and Israel - two homelands, two languages, two identities, two enemies. The director is trying to reconstruct the narrative of his family, a narrative that has disappeared in the silence and shame that followed the family move to Israel. The father’s silence is finally broken by the director’s relentless inquiries, which reveal a story about 5 lost years of his father in the Iraqi prison. It is a diary film shot over a period of 10 years.

Documentary   |   Israel, USA   |   2002   

54/67 min

Hebrew, English, Arabic    

Subtitles: French, Arabic, Hebrew, English

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.

Director: Duki Dror & Tzachi Schiff   

Script: Galia Engelmayer Dror   

Cinematography: Philippe Bellaiche   

Editor: Sara Salomon   

Original Music: Israel Bright     

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