3 cm Less (2003)
Origin: Palestine | Documentary | Director: Azza El-Hassan | 60 minutes
3 CM LESS (the title comes from projections that the Palestinian children of today will grow up on average three centimeters shorter than their parents, thanks to the deprivations of occupation) is a complex, highly personal look at the impact decades of war has wreaked on families and friendships.
Part video diary, part quest for reconciliation, 3 CM LESS tells the parallel stories of two very different Palestinian women who, together with the filmmaker, attempt to heal the rifts in their families while probing their "invisible hunger" for love and security - all within the context of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
Hagar, aged 72, is a near-legendary figure in her town of Ramallah. She and her husband Mahmoud left Palestine for Colombia, where he was killed in a robbery. Hagar returned with her ten children and her husband's body, only to find Ramallah under Israeli occupation. Her 11-year battle to return to her property made her a heroine, but also estranged Hagar from her children. Now they want filmmaker Azza El-Hassan to make a film about their mother's life, in the hope that it will foster a family reconciliation.
Like Hagar, Ra'eda lives in Ramallah. Her life has been dominated by the loss of her father, Ali, who was killed in 1975 by Israeli soldiers after he helped hijack a Sabena flight. Ra'eda is desperate to use Azza's camera to connect with her father by meeting people who knew him.
Azza herself is hardly a passive participant. She offers a running commentary that explores her role in the two women's stories and the nature of filmmaking in such an environment. She also provokes events - most strikingly when she hires an actor to meet Ra'eda and pretend that he remembers her father.