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PRISONERS OF FREEDOM

Israel, 1968 (MIFF 1969, Programme B)

Director: Yona Zarecki

The penal system of Israel provides a form of remission for good behaviour which permits prisoners twenty-four hours with their families at intervals to reduce the tension of their long incarceration. This is the story of three men on such a day of leave: an emancipated Arab forced to murder to support a family code of honour, an ex-king of the underworld, and a young housebreaker. The stories of the three cross and re-cross during the hours that follow their combined release. . . .

The story has been based on some actual case histories, and is remarkable for being the first Israeli film to represent that country's Arab population as they really appear to the Israelis. The director is a graduate of a Parisian film school, and his cameraman is also French. Hence the film has acquired some reputation for containing the most "daring" sex scene yet to come out of Israel's film industry.

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