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Circus Palestina

Director - Eyal Halfon
1998,  Israel, Hebrew, English, Arabic

Cast: Evgenia Dodina, Yoram Hatav, Amos Lavi, Vladimir Friedman, Basaam Zuamot, Youssuf Ibrahim

A Five Minutes Walk
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A story about three small fry crooks with big-time plans, and one 
Once upon a time (and this really happened), a small circus from Eastern Europe came to the Holy Land, where every hardship in the world landed on its tattered tent: soaring debts, sick animals, and runaway clowns. Soon the circus owners have a hard time finding an audience or a place to raise their own magnificent tent. This is the point where the story and the huge circus begin. Ibrahim Sus, a despised Palestinian entrepreneur, suggests that Yermin, the circus manager, brings his rapidly shrinking business to a completely different place, the likes of which the circus has never seen in all its travels. Several minutes after the story begins, the circus caravans are already rolling towards a tiny, picturesque, and wretched village on the West Bank. Until that day, the village’s main claim to fame was selling spare auto parts from the best and fastest stolen cars that landed in the Occupied Territories.
Schweik, the lion, is not able to suppress his animal instincts and escapes a moment before he is to appear on opening night. Those who understand lions say he ran away in order to get laid. Those who really love Schweik understand that they escaped enjoying a small taste of freedom.
Israeli colonel Oz is responsible for the area. Oz and Ibrahim Sus are partners in the most profitable business of all - dismantling stolen cars. The last thing Oz has time for is a missing Lion. So the person who is assigned the task of catching the lion is the hero of our story: Sergeant Major Shimshon Bleiberg. Bleiberg, is a glum soldier who is assigned dreary tasks and looks withered compared to the charismatic Oz. But deep in his heart, he has one secret wish - to enjoy one day of glory. But glory will have to come at the price of new development in Bleiberg’s life: his love for Mariana, the lion tamer.
Bleiberg, Mariana, and a small Arab boy named Fathi “Dayan”, set out in search of the lost lion. The threesome’s dreams run up against a reality in which people go crazy over the wrong flags, and have no room for lions going out for a stroll.

Written by Eyal Halfon
Editor:Tovah Asher
Director of Photography: Valentin Belonogov
Music: Shlomo Gronich