The ancient city of Akka, now known as Acre, is a coastal town in northern Israel that has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. It has a long and twisted history of having been taken over by various countries including the British Empire before it was captured by Israel on May 17, 1948. Israel has made displacing the Arab population an ongoing project and thousands of families have fled, many by force. At present, 50,000 people live there including Jews and Muslims, Israelis and Palestinians, Christians and Ba'hai.
In this revealing documentary, directors Gina Angelone and Patrick and Mouna Smith let Palestinian residents of Acre speak freely about their beautiful city by the sea and the troubles they have seen and experienced under Israeli occupation. These stories are provided by two teachers, a politically active restaurant owner, two young female rappers, a longtime fisherman, a local tour guide, an articulate historian, and others.
Many Palestinian residents of Acre are unemployed fishermen who claim that the waters have been polluted and the fish are dying. They have not been able to find work given the fact that the Israeli overlords are seeing the city's future as a luxurious tourist spot. In addition, Jewish entrepreneurs are purchasing property for fancy condominiums. Those who have lived in Acre for generations feel that the Israelis are wiping away their culture and replacing it with Jewish only spaces. One Palestinian resident worries that his favorite place in the world might one day be a crowded city with surveillance cameras everywhere, guards to maintain order, and modern buildings that clash with the landscape of the area.
To amuse themselves and take their minds off the depression of the present situation and fears about the future, the filmmakers take us to the famous high walls near the sea where mostly youthful jumpers throw their bodies into the deep below. For many this act is a sign of playfulness and for others it is a rite of passage training them in the courage they will need to endure Israel's plans for Acre.
Special features on the DVD include bonus interviews.