Levinsky Park
Through the lens of an asylum seeker from Darfur, long time residents of the community, and a human rights activist, we explore the contours and nuances of the refugee story. Particular to Israel’s refugee history, the film examines the subtle ways in which unrest exacerbates community tensions uncovering the global crisis pervading the world today. We follow the journeys of several asylum seekers in Israel from Darfur and Eritrea. We meet Mutasim Ali who takes us on his journey and brings us to Levinsky park where the African refugees congregate. We befriend Jewish residents of Yemenite and Greek backgrounds who live in the area of Tel Aviv where the Refugees are settling. They take us into their world and reveal the impact of the refugees on their daily lives and communities. This sets the stage for the life of the refugees in Israel today. The ways in which Israel, a country comprised historically of refugees, has responded to this unique migration reveals the conflicted views with which so many in the world are reckoning in the current refugee crisis. Some Israelis have embraced the new refugees, even creating food and clothing stations in Levinsky Park to support them. Others have impugned the Africans as outsiders, threatening Jewish demography and identity, claiming they show little interest in Jewish culture and life, and are driving down wages of ordinary Israelis. Politicians have capitalized on these anxieties by passing harsh anti-immigrant legislation, building an enormous fence on the border of Israel and Egypt, building refugee detention centers and camps, and even paying Africans to resettle in other countries. In sum, the film presents a clash of two worlds: that of long time residents who have lived in the area since the aftermath of WWll and that of thousands of recent migrants and refugees mostly from sub-Saharan Africa, who cross the desert to reach freedom.
Starring Mutasim Ali
Director Beth Toni Kruvant