Borrowed Identity: Interview with Ethan Riklis

Strand wil release E5than Riklis’ A Borrowed Identity in late September

Question of Identity

Living in the Middle East is a question of identity. All of us here have a long history behind us, claims to the land, spiritual and religious bonds, fear, terror, moments of grace, hope and hatred which have split people and nations here for far too long. Whether you wake up in Tel Aviv, Damascus, Jerusalem, Cairo or Tira – the town where Eyad, our hero, was born – you have to face who you are, what you believe in and where you want to see yourself tomorrow, questions which are not easy to answer, are not easy to live with.

Being Palestinian: Israeli? Muslim?

Eyad is Palestinian, Eyad is Israeli, he is a Muslim, he is a Jew, he was born and raised in a typical Arab town and yet his youth was spent in a lucrative Jewish-Israeli school in Jerusalem – liberated or occupied, depending on who you are and what your identity is. Eyad is constantly on the run – from who he is, from what he is supposed to be, from what is expected of him. A man, a young man on the run, is on a voyage of self-exploration, which leads us to embark on this voyage and explore his and our aspirations, our identity, our daily struggles, our fears and our hopes.

The soul of a dancing Arab, forever juggling who he is and what he really wants to be, connects with my fears, with my soul as an Israeli who is part of this land, part of his people and yet is not sure where and how he wants to be. It connects with the sense of solitude we all have and yet with our strong will to survive whatever the odds while we dance away our life – fulfilling our dreams, fulfilling someone else’s dreams, achieving goals, failing, dancing.

Slow Dance

This film is a slow dance, perhaps a traditional dance, a dance through life, which we all embark on – and find ourselves either alone on the dance floor, or surrounded by our loved ones. It was shot through the eyes of a boy and yet from the perspective of an adult.