Cafe Tekoa

In this project, Israeli filmmaker Iris Zaki continued her journey in which she embeds herself in vastly different segments of Israeli society, this time to meet Israel’s most controversial residents: Jewish settlers in the West Bank.

Iris occupied a corner, outside the local bakery, where she set up a pop-up-café/film studio, with the aim of filming casual and open chats with locals. After being ignored for quite a while, Iris began to strike up conversations with the suspicious settlers of Tekoa, who usually avoid the media due to their fear of negative media coverage, though are eager to hear her and be heard.

Iris confronted her counterparts with their effect on the Palestinians as well as on the future of Israel itself. The interaction reveals, on the one hand, the complexity and variety of approaches of the settlers, unlike the monolithic way they are usually presented, while on the other hand, it shows the gap between the comfortable pastoral environment the settlers created, and the violent effects their mere presence there creates.

The result is a film that brings about a mix of despair alongside hope, that even in the settlements there is a growing understanding that there is a real need for a solution. All this is wrapped with most common Jewish tool to confront dire times: a good sense of humour.