Ruins of Lifta

The mega-narratives underlying the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Holocaust and Nakba, are pitted against each other in the ruins of an Arab village emptied in 1948.

Lifta is the only Arab village abandoned in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war that has not been completely destroyed or repopulated by Jews. Its ruins are now threatened by an Israeli development plan that would convert it into an upscale Jewish neighborhood. Discovering that his parents’ Holocaust experiences may have distorted his views of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Menachem, the filmmaker and an Orthodox Jew from Brooklyn, sets out to establish a personal relationship with a Palestinian. He meets Yacoub, who was expelled from Lifta and now leads the struggle to save the haunting ruins of his village from Israeli plans to build luxury villas on the site. Learning that Lifta was once a place where Jews and Arabs got along, Menachem join’s Yacoub’s campaign in the hopes that Lifta can serve as a place of reflection and reconciliation. This sets up a climactic encounter between a Holocaust survivor and a Nakba refugee amidst the ruins of Lifta.


THE RUINS OF LIFTA--TRAILER V.8.12.16 from Ramon Rivera-Moret on Vimeo.


"It’s visually stunning and packs an emotional wallop."

Simi Horwitz , Film Journal International

"The Ruins of Lifta offers a muscular example of ability of documentaries to make the political intensely personal. More painfully, it's also a case study in the limits of benign intention."

Ella Taylor, NPR

"A thoughtful lesson in history - and listening."

Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter

" achingly poignant documentary..."

Daniel M. Gold, The New York Times