Citizen Nawi

2007 | Documentary / Human Rights | 80m | Israel | Palestinian Territories
Directors: Nissim Mossek

Citizen Nawi tells the story of Ezra Nawi, the driving force behind the defense of Palestinians in the South Hebron Hills who regularly face attacks from Jewish settlers. Nawi works to change this situation. He battles the fights and arrests, assists in the Arab olive harvest and in digging wells, and also organizes day camps for the Arab children. Ezra has committed himself to the cause of the South Hebron cave dwellers.

A plumber by trade, Ezra ignores the police harassment. He has lost count how many times he has been arrested and interrogated due to his activities in the South Hebron Hills. At the same time Ezra is fighting a personal battle for the rights of Fuad Mussa, a Palestinian from Ramallah chased by Israeli law enforcement officials. For a while Fuad and Ezra lived together in the Rehavia neighborhood of Jerusalem, not far from the Prime Minister's and the President's residences. As a couple, they stood out in the neighborhood. Surprise visits from the police, arrests, and violence, were all part of their daily routine.

Over the past few years Nawi has consistently stood by Fuad. Though Ezra has been unwavering in his commitment to his partner, it is he who is grateful. His experiences with Fuad have opened his eyes to the continuing injustices of the occupation, and stirred his consciousness in the fight for human dignity. Through it all, Ezra retains a blazing wit and sharp human observation that allows him, and us, to see as never before what it means to be trapped by one's circumstances while still committed to resistance.

Reviews and Awards

Special Mention, Jerusalem Film Festival

Citizen Nawi is a tour de force that should not, for any reason, be missed by anyone but especially not by thinking members of the gay community.”—Amos Lassen, Eureka Pride