Waiting for Ben Gurion

2006, Documentary

Critic, and filmmaker Norma Marcos was born in Palestine and, though she currently lives in Paris, frequently returns to work in Palestine and its territories. During work on one particular project, Marcos had travelled to Palestine to begin production when she was detained by Israeli authorities and jailed in Bethlehem. Marcos used a mini-DV camera to capture her experience during the seven weeks she spent in Bethlehem not being able to leave the town waiting for her case to be sorted out as the Israelis refused to let her leave through Ben Gurion airport like thousands of citizens of Palestinian origin.

Waiting For Ben Gurion

Marcos worked the footage, including interviews with an occasional visitor, her seven-year-old niece Yara, into a short documentary called Waiting For Ben Gurion. The film blends Marcos’ own view of Bethlehem during her detainment with a child’s perspective on life in the Middle East. The second reading of the film has more to do with how things are perceived, and the consequences of those ways of perceiving on our lives. The main character, in this case, a child, symbolizes that free eternal youthful state which can relatives’ the hard reality of external structures. Her joyful and chaotic camera movement symbolizes a breakdown of the limiting internal structures through which we filter and perceive reality – in this case, the perceptions that wall us in and sow the seeds for future enclosures of the soul.

Production Credits

Production Information

Genre: Documentary / Subtitles: French & English / Support: Digital Beta / Original language: Arabic / Subtitles: French & English / Country of production: France / Year of production: 2006


Selected at the official competition for the Biennale des cinemas arabes in Paris and for the AFLAM Film Festival in Marseille, AMAL festival, Spain. Official selection at the Rotterdam International film festival, the Istanbul film festival, Festival der Nationen in Austria, Minnesota, San Francisco, San José, Berkley film festival, Altermedia and Israëli-Arab film festival, Paris, Roubaix, Namur film festival, Rome Medfilm festival and Kerala film festival, India, Dakar film festival.

Production Credits

Director: Norma Marcos / Producer: Norma Marcos / Camera: Mini DV Digital Handycam / Cameraman: Norma Marcos / Editing: Keren Ben Rafaël, Menem Adwan, Julien Joyeux / Additional editing: Cyrile de Canson / Sound: Norma Marcos, Philippe Fabbri, Nicolas Delcroix / Sound Editing: Nicolas Delcroix / Sound Mixing: Philippe Fabbri / Additional sound mixing: Cyrile de Canson / Support: Digital Beta / Film location: Palestine and Israeli airport

Distribution / Contact

Norma Marcos / 21 rue Lieutenant chauré / 75020, Paris, France / Tel: 331 40318887 / e-mail: norma.marcos@orange.fr