Citizen Nawi
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Citizen Nawi

Israel, 2007, 80 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Documentary, Gay, Immigration / Exile, Jewish, Middle Eastern, Politics
Program: Documentary
Language: Hebrew, Arabic

DIRECTOR: Nissim Mossek

Citizen Nawi offers a brave and hopeful look at Ezra Nawi, a Sephardic Jew and relentless activist living in Israel. Nawi engages the Israeli Defense Force over the rights of Arab villagers in South Hebron and struggles with ultra-orthodox settlers to insure that the destitute Palestinians are not denied basic rights of health, education or housing. His personal life is equally complicated, with near-daily police harassment endured as a result of his political views as much as his sexual orientation.
Nawi illegally shelters a handsome Palestinian man, Fuad, whom he falls in love with, only to see their union repeatedly questioned, berated and eventually disrupted. Neighbors hurl verbal abuse at the couple and often act the role of “proper citizens” when informing police of the forbidden arrangement between the two men.
In a world devoid of encouraging developments and short on influential allies, Nawi shows tremendous — and, at times, shockingly stubborn — conviction in his liberal beliefs. He refuses to be cowed by military force, social conventions or the legal process. Whether seeking justice for his imprisoned partner or working tirelessly to construct wells, clinics and schools, this truly independent Israeli citizen sets out to prove that change is possible through sheer willpower and determination. — ILYA TOVBIS

co-presented by

American Friends Service Committee

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