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Life Sentences


An Arab man marries a Jewish woman. They give birth to a girl and a boy and live in quiet harmony among the Arab-Jewish community. Nobody realizes that behind dozens of mysterious terror attacks which trembles the state of Israel in the late 60’s stands no other than the Arab father.

When he is caught the mother decides to flee the country with her kids. When they grow up, the two will take opposite roads – She will become an ultra-orthodox Jew, and he will fall in love and marry his Muslim cousin..


  • Video Librarian
    The title of this fascinating documentary by Nurit Kedar and Yaron Shani is derived from the life of Fawzi al Nimer, an Israeli Arab sentenced to 27 life sentences for 22 terrorist actions that he undertook following the Six-Day War... Life Sentences serves up a powerful personal tale of the devastation wrought by the Arab-Israeli conflict, as well as a reminder of how the sins of the father can be visited upon the son. Recommended.
  • Screen Daily
  • New Voices
    The movie oscillates between close up shots of Nimer as he sits in front of the camera, to shots of Nimer revisiting the old places he grew up. He prays in his old Ultra-Orthodox Yeshiva, and he visits his old boarding school. The memories are very much present for him as he wanders these old haunts.
  • Forward
    “Life Sentences” follows Nimer’s journey from Israel to Canada, and from Tunisia back to Israel. It examines an isolated, tortured childhood and a conflicted adulthood. A profoundly affecting film, it addresses the question of identity, how we define ourselves and, perhaps more crucially, how others define us.
  • POV Magazine
    This complex and curious story, with its twists and turns, seems to embody the many dilemmas of the Middle East. Momi/Shlomo/Namir’s tale illustrates the possibilities of finding love in both cultures despite each religion opposing such unions. And who is he?
  • Ha'aretz
    “What am I?” he asks in the film. “According to Muslims, I am a Muslim. According to Jews, I am a Jew. If I go by which is the more ancient people, I would be a Jew. If I go by which is the more populous people, I would be a Muslim.” It is not, he stresses towards the end of the 94-minute movie, that he wants to be part of both religions and nations - its more that he is, or he wants, none of it.
    Danna Harman

Festival Participation

  • Jerusalem Film Festival
    Best Documentary
  • Zagrebdox
  • Silicon Valley Jewish Film Festival
  • 45th Annual USA Film Festival
  • San Diego Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  • Millenium Film Festival - 2014
    “Objectif d’Or” the Grand Award
  • Oakland International Film Festival - 2015
  • Accolade Global Film Competition - 2015
    Award of Merit
  • St. Louis International Film Festival - 2015
  • Student Academy Awards - 2014
  • First Run Film Festival - 2014
    Janowsky Award
  • IDFA - 2014
  • Toronto Jewish Film Festival - 2014
  • New York Film Festival - 2014
  • First Run Film Festival - 2014
  • Milano Film Festival - 2014
  • Silicon Valley Jewish Film Festival - 2014
  • Millenium International Documentary Film Festival - 2014
  • Annual East Bay International Jewish Film Festival - 2014
  • Other Israel Film Festival - 2014
  • ZagrebDox - 2014

Additional Materials

Distribution Company

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