Israeli director David Benchetrit has a fascinating personal history. Raised in Morocco by a father who secretly helped Jews emigrate to Israel, he eventually was sent to school there, becoming the first in his family to make the move. After running away from the yeshiva, Benchetrit spent time working in Tel Aviv, where he had many Palestinian friends and co-workers. When the time came for his service in the Israeli army in 1973, he became one of the first soldiers to refused to serve in the occupied territories, a decision that earned him both the label of traitor to his country and a government document that “denies him certain privileges in Israel,” including the opportunity to teach at a university.

Benchetrit’s first film, Through the Veil of Exile, an intimate look at the lives of three Palestinian women, grew out of his work as a freelance cameraman covering the intifada, and the personal confusion he felt about which side was right. It has a very limited scope, covering the trio of women with virtually no context, and without a deep exploration of the moral issues behind their personal choices and views. At the time, he said he was interested in making a film about Palestinian women, not about war.