‘Junction 48’ Review: Permission to Rhyme

Palestine Square | ميدان فلسـطيـن

Udi Aloni’s new film Junction 48, winner of the Audience Award at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival, is a melodic drama set in the town of Lydd (Lod) with a nearly all-Palestinian cast that forcefully confronts anti-Arab racism in Israel by shining a light on the oft-forgotten Palestinian citizens of Israel (PCIs). (The title Junction 48 presumably refers to Lydd’s historic transit-point between Palestine and Egypt and the designation often applied to PCIs as “’48 Palestinians.”)

For Aloni, the film is something of a homecoming. Years ago, the leftist Israeli director shot the music video for Min Irhabi? (Who’s A Terrorist?), the breakout hit of the Palestinian hip hop group DAM in the trio’s hometown of Lydd. The video and lyrics slammed the Israeli state’s institutional neglect of its Arab citizens (20% of Israel’s population), the state-enforced violence of home demolitions, and routine discrimination and police brutality. All these themes are resurrected in Junction 48. And, as…

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