Special Screenings
Traveling Festival


(89 minutes) Israel/Palestine/USA
Director: Shimon Dotan

Almost ten thousand Palestinians, designated by the Israeli government as "Security Prisoners," are incarcerated in Israel today. Most Israelis consider them murderers and criminals, but most Palestinians regard them as freedom fighters. Granted rare permission to film inside the country's highest security facilities, Israeli filmmaker Shimon Dotan shows everyday prison life, including bi-weekly family visits, internal elections, periodic security searches of cells, and relations between inmates and prison staff. HotHouse also features interviews with many Palestinian prisoners. HotHouse also makes it clear that the Israeli criminal justice system uses imprisonment to stifle or control Palestinian democratic political life, revealing that 13 prisoners, who were not involved in terrorist or military actions, were political candidates in the 2006 Palestinian elections, which saw the rise to power of the militant Islamic party, Hamas. In this regard, the film shows how Israeli prisons have become incubators for political education and debate, which often influences Palestinian society at large. The Palestinian experience in Israeli prisons has become a national symbol in Palestine, and the prisons themselves have become virtual universities for Palestinian nationalism, shaping the prisoners' ideology, strengthening their political convictions, and, as was the case on South Africa's Robben Island or in the H-Blocks in Northern Ireland, enabling the development of future political leaders.

Shimon Dotan was born in Romania, grew up in Israel, and is currently working in Canada, Israel, and the United States. Dotan, a fellow of the New York Institute of the Humanities at NYU, is an award-winning filmmaker with ten feature films to his credit. His film, The Smile of the Lamb received the Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival and the award for best director at the Israeli Academy Awards. Dotan has taught filmmaking at NYU, Tel Aviv University and Concordia University in Montreal.

Contact information:
Lori Fried
First Run/Icarus Films
32 Court Street, 21st Floor
Brooklyn, New York 11201
E-mail: lori@frif.com
©2007 United Nations Association Film Festival (UNAFF)
Select a film

Abstaining From Reality
American Soldier
BAM 6.6 Humanity Has No Borders
The Battle of Chernobyl
The Champ
Damage Done: The Drug War Odyssey
The Devil Came on Horseback
The Digital Dump: Exporting Re-use and Abuse to Africa
The Fighting Cholitas
Global Focus IV: The New Environmentalists
Gypsy Caravan
Hidden Wounds
Holy Warriors
Hot House
Journey of the Piano Tuner
Like a Ship In the Night
The Lost Children of Cite Soleil
A Minority Report
Mr. Dial Has Something to Say
My Dreams Never Lie
No Place For You at This Workplace
On a Tightrope
Orange Revolution
Saudi Solutions
Soldiers of Conscience
Special Circumstances
Toxic Bust: Chemicals and Breast Cancer
Tsepong: A Clinic Called Hope
USA vs Al-Arian
Willie Francis Must Die Again