In Between

Reviewed by Chris Coombes

A truly wonderful treat was served up to us last Sunday at the Keswick Film Club. A challenging, sometimes joyful, absolutely engaging film experience with fantastic performances from the central characters and a great music score thrown in for good measure.

In Between tells the story of three young Palestinian women living in Israel. The partying, hedonistic Layla and Salma and the more traditional Nour. Each has her own particular struggle with the stifling patriarchy that is, along with other prejudices they endure, the background to their lives. Each has to resolve her struggle in ways that make sense for them as individuals, but all three find the common ground that enables them to support each other. It is a stunningly moving film that is honest and straight forward about the cost to each of the women that comes with the freedom they have to fight for.

Palestinian director Maysaloun Hamoud was subjected to a huge backlash in her home country with this, her debut feature film. A fatwa was issued against her. This slap in the face for outmoded traditional values has not gone down well with more conservative members of the community.

It is a film that should be viewed as widely as possible. It forces us to examine our habitual perceptions and shows how young women can and should question the ways they are expected, by their parents, their partners, their work colleagues and society in general, to live their lives. The story is set in Tel Aviv but it could be just about anywhere.