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The Mission: Video48

Issued: January 2006; 42 minutes; English, Arabic, and Hebrew
Direction and screenplay: Shiri Wilk
Cinematography: Yigal Maloul
Editing: Shiri Wilk, Sharon Horodi and Yaron Lapid


N APRIL 2004, fourteen European labor activists visit Israel at the invitation of the Workers Advice Center (WAC-MAAN). Their task is to examine the situation of workers in the building sector, including Palestinians from the Occupied Territories, Arab citizens of Israel, and migrants. They visit construction sites and meet with government officials, experts, activists and laborers. Through the delegation’s eyes Israel is revealed - a pseudo pod of the West in the Middle East, a place where everything is extreme: occupation, globalization, exploitation, racism, shattered labor relations… a microcosm of how capitalism relates to the world.

The hours, days, meetings, and lectures conjoin like pieces of a puzzle, with a question mark on each. Ultimately they disclose the whole picture of this place. We encounter developed cities beside overflowing, jobless villages, and of course the Occupied Territories.

The film opens on Israel’s Independence Day, but the delegation finds whole societies that lack independence – and not just in the West Bank or Gaza. Within Israel’s borders – the film reveals – is another, hidden occupation. The Mission ends on a hopeful note at WAC’s May Day celebration in Haifa, where the delegates and workers join in clapping to the protest song, “Mix the Cement, Ahmed.”

Premiere - Tel Aviv Cinematheque, May 2006

Further information: The Mission concluded its work with a paper called: “The Labor Market in Israel: Discrimination and Exploitation in the Construction Industry.”
See : ww.workersadvicecenter.org/Delegation-document-full2.htm
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