The foreigner within and the question of identity in "Fictitious Marriage" and "Streets of Yesterday"

Alexandra Meiri

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Haim Bouzaglo's Fictitious Marriage (1988) and Judd Ne'eman's Streets of Yesterday (1989) were made during a time when the violent events of the first Palestinian uprising (Intifada) had engendered a heightened sense of mistrust in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.1 These two films compel us to reexamine the core aspects of the Hebraic Israeli identity in relation to the Palestinian Other by using one specific device-the impersonation of a Palestinian by an Israeli character, played by a Jewish actor. Dorit Naaman maintains that Fictitious Marriage reinforces and reaffirms ethnic boundaries, that the "passing⋯ affirms existing⋯ hierarchical social structures" and therefore that the film is not subversive.2 I argue, however, that it is precisely the failure to escape the dominant ideology and stereotypes that renders Fictitious Marriage subversive and that the failure to contend with the Palestinian Other is conflated in both films with the repudiation of the Exilic Jew.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIsraeli Cinema
Subtitle of host publicationIdentities in Motion
PublisherUniversity of Texas Press
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780292735606
ISBN (Print)9780292725607
StatePublished - 2011

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2011 by the University of Texas Press.

RAMBI publications

  • Bouzaglo, Haim -- Nissu'im Fiktiviim (Fictitious Marriage) (film)
  • Ne'eman, Judd -- Rekhovot Ha'etmol (Streets of Yesterday) (film)
  • Motion pictures -- Israel


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