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Terrace of the Sea 2009


Distributed by Cinema Guild, 115 West 30th Street, Suite 800, New York, NY 10001; 212-685-6242

Directed by Diana Allan
DVD, color, 88 min.

General Adult
Anthropology, Arab-Israeli Conflict, Family, Occupations, Photography

Date Entered: 11/13/2017

Reviewed by Linda Frederiksen, Washington State University, Vancouver, WA

Jal el Bahar is a small refugee settlement in Tyre, Lebanon. The inhabitants are Palestinian Bedouins, who live, work, and raise families in disputed Palestinian Territories. They do so with the knowledge that at any moment shifting regional politics, a rising sea level, and nearby real estate development threaten their future.

Anthropologist and author Allan profiles three generations of the Ibrahim family, who have lived in the same house overlooking the Mediterranean for 58 years. Using archival personal photographs to focus the narrative, the filmmaker captures daily life as well as memories of the past. The ocean that provides the family’s livelihood but also takes away land previously used for gardening is a constant, seen and heard through the open front door of the family home. In the ethnographic sensory lab style of her earlier work, Still Life, Allan expressively portrays an intimate family portrait through the distinctive sights and sounds of their surroundings.