Usually, life in the Middle East through the lens of documentary filmmakers and journalists is focused on the political struggles and the pain of war. But in In Between, viewers see everyday life as experienced by three young women, each with their own set of beliefs and goals independent of the political turmoil that infects their country. This weekend, the Santa Fe Jewish Film Festival screens In Between (11 am Sunday. $8-$15. 1050 Old Pecos Trail, 982-1338). We spoke with Marcia Torobin, the festival's director, to ask why she's stoked about this film.
Is the Jewish Film Festival something that ends?
No, it never ends. We work a bit differently than most film festivals because the market is a smaller market, so we screen all year-round. Then, we do a four or five film mini-fest that is based around a theme and, when we do that the films are shown over a week or two, and then we continue with about one film a month. So, there is something going on almost year-round.
What do you think viewers may learn about life there through these women?
That many of the struggles they face are struggles that women, in particular in the US, maybe in an earlier generation, also faced. They're coming from a much more traditional society. The Arab world is much more traditional, and yet each of them is trying to strike out a life on their own. So they meet many of the same hurdles women here met.
What made the film festival choose this particular film?
I think it was because it does have this universal aspect to it, that was one thing. This film was refreshing because it is dealing with the daily lives of Israeli Arabs. So, it was a glimpse into a segment of society, a part of the world, that is looking at it through a more normal lens, not one that is so highly focused on the politics of the region.