A Big Film About a Small Town
Film director Leila Sansour returns to Bethlehem to make a film about her hometown, soon to be encircled by a wall. After leaving the city as a teenager thinking that Bethlehem was too small and provincial, she never wanted to return, but this time is making an exception. Sansour intends her film to be a tribute to her late father, founder of Bethlehem University, and a man regarded as a hero by his townsfolk. But as Bethlehem approaches ruin, her decision to flee this sleepy town, taken much to her father’s regret, comes to haunt her.
Open Bethlehem is a story of a homecoming to the world’s most famous little town. The film spans seven momentous years in the life of Bethlehem, revealing a city of astonishing beauty and political strife under occupation. While telling a personal story, the film charts the creation of a campaign to compel international action to bring peace to the Middle East.
As the credits roll, there is snow over Bethlehem. Sansour's plan to stay a year stretches to seven--she has stayed long enough to realize that she is home for good. Sometimes, the biggest dreams take flight from the smallest places.
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