Mothers is a moving documentary, produced by the Italian company Rai Cinema, that aims to portray the Israeli Palestinian conflict through the suffering of women. Many documentaries have been made on the 60-year-long conflict but not all have been successful in detaching the conflict from the politics and simply humanising the issue. The film begins with a black background and a weary mother's voice describing her 20-year-old son's death by suicide because of the increasingly unbearable pressures of being in the army. The scene, highlighting the woman's voice and eliminating her face, epitomises the film's decision to focus on the suffering that unites the women rather than the inescapable conflict that divides them. Seven Israeli mothers and eight Palestinian mothers speak in their native Hebrew and Arabic, each recounting the horrifying day on which they lost their children to the ongoing war. The women tell their stories in graphic detail; having to pick up torn limbs of their children, identifying dead daughters at the morgue and a son who was shot dead while attending his friend's funeral procession. The setting emphasises the contrast between the European-style glamour and meticulous organization of Tel Aviv and the shattered wasteland that is the Gaza strip, a mere 71 km away. The film concludes with a hopeful and well-executed ending showing the Israeli and Palestinian parents of the deceased children uniting under the common struggle of losing loved ones and as part of a grassroots organisation that can be found at www.theparentscircle.org.
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