Saturday, June 2, 2012

9 Star Hotel (2007)

Ido Haar


Middle Eastern director Ido Haar helms the haunting cinema direct documentary 9 Star Hotel. The work introduces the audience to a cadre of Palestinian men who have built a transient community on the Israeli border, comprised of jerry-built huts and tiny, sarcophagus-like sleeping compartments. The men leave these quarters and systematically cross the border each morning before dawn, to work illegally at construction jobs in Israel - risking their safety and their lives to simply draw a regular income. Throughout, the workers stick close together (Haar suggests that the circumstances actually engender tighter social bonds between them) and evince a surprising sense of humor, tenacity and resilience. Meanwhile, constant hopes for improved circumstances in the future belie their lingering fears of being discovered and shot or arrested by Israeli authorities.


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