Playback: Remembrance vs. A Bottle in the Gaza Sea

Viewing and Voting on this match-up starts August 23 and ends August 29
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Dir: Anna Justice • Germany • 2010 • 105 mins • English, German, Polish, Russian, with subtitles

In this epic romance based on real events, a Polish partisan and German Jewish woman forge a deep bond in the shadow of the Holocaust. After escaping a Nazi death camp, Tomasz and pregnant Hannah are separated, each sure the other is dead. Poland in ‘44 is crosscut with 1976 Brooklyn, where older, married Hannah sees a jolting TV interview. That Hannah’s lost love may be alive triggers unresolved emotions and moral ambiguities, and a tender journey told with restraint and empathy by esteemed director Anna Justice.


A Bottle in the Gaza Sea

Dir: Therri Binisti • France, Israel • 2011 • 99 mins • Arabic, French, Hebrew, with subtitles

This Romeo and Juliet Internet-age tale charts the long-distance, politically-charged liaison between Tal, 17, a French-Israeli student, and Naïm, 20, a Palestinian living with his widowed mother. After a deadly Tel Aviv suicide bombing, Tal lobs a bottle into the Mediterranean, with a note seeking answers. Retrieved by Naïm, the two correspond, at first warily and acerbically, given tensions in Gaza. The film avoids easy answers and pathos while delivering a potent take on amity and love amid the Middle East divide.

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