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Afterthoughts About the Documentary “Afterward”

I got back from the screening of the documentary “Afterward” with a heavy heart.

Ofra Bloch, a psychoanalyst who has been living in NYC for the past 40 years, presents her documentary as a personal journey of listening to the “Other”, which I think is very important in these troubled times in Israel as well as around the world. However, while the documentary is certainly thought provoking, it comes across very unbalanced in favor of the Palestinian perspective, as reflected by the interviewees  chosen, by some of the factual content of the interviews (eg. the claim made by one interviewee that Palestinian violence is aimed mainly at Israeli soldiers and not at civilians), and by the snippets of history and video evidence that were chosen to be included or omitted. In addition, since Ofra Bloch takes upon herself the role of an Israeli, and focuses on listening to the “Other”, the film includes no interviews with other Israelis, who are currently living the reality of the conflict, and thus gives no voice to the broader Israeli perspective.

The documentary addresses an incredibly painful and difficult conflict. The lack of balance in this film, like in any imbalanced presentation of these complex issues, might only further polarize opinions and emotions about the conflict, rather than help contribute to a resolution. However, I agree that it is very important to listen to each other’s narratives of trauma if we are to ever find a solution. One can only hope that there will be more and more voices on both sides contributing to a real dialogue that balances all perspectives and works toward a realistic and just solution.




  1. I saw the movie Saturday night, and found Ofra’s bias very disturbing. In her attempt to listen to the “other”
    she has turned her anger against her own people. While listening to the “other”, Ofra does not give equal
    voice to her fellow Israelis.Her hostility toward the IDF is palpable. I am concerned about the negative impact such a
    biased presentation can have. I was extremely disappointed by Ofra and her film.

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