Netanya Passover suicide bombers left over 23 people dead
Mourning through filmmaking
Swedish filmaker Bernt Hermele produces documentary about mother who was killed in suicide bombing at Netanya's Park Hotel
Swedish journalist Bernt Hermele is the producer of a documentary film called “My mother was killed by a suicide bomber” which was shown at the International Documentary Festival in Amsterdam this year and had its television premiere last week in Sweden.


EJP spoke to Hermele about his film and how it was received.


What is the film about?


It’s about my mother, Perla Hermele, who was killed in the Passover Massacre in March 2002, when a suicide bomber from Tul Karem blew himself up at the Park Hotel in Netanya. It’s also about how I went back to Israel and the Palestinian areas to find out what happened and to confront the family of the suicide bomber.


Why did you make the film?


I felt it was part of the mourning process, and necessary for me to be able to move on. The film was also made to honor the memory of my mother.


What was the purpose of visiting the family of the suicide bomber?


Since I was making a documentary film, I had to meet the family of the suicide bomber in order to find out as much as possible about what happened. The meeting was also important because it allowed me to explore themes in the film such as hatred and the possibility of reconciliation.


What reactions has the film received in Sweden?


People approach me on the street and thank me for the film. Both people who are critical of Israel and those who are Israel supporters have told me they appreciated the film.


What reactions have you received from Jews and Muslims?


In general, I have received positive feedback from both Jews and Muslims. At the International Documentary Festival in Amsterdam, a man
stood up during the Q&A session and said that he was also from Tulkarm and that he had been a neighbour of the suicide bomber and his family. He said he liked the film.


On the other hand, one of my Israeli relatives couldn’t understand why I was visiting the family of the suicide bomber. “Why don’t you hate them,” he asked me. But hatred won’t bring back my mother.


Article published by arrangement with European Jewish Press , a pan-European news agency based in Belgium


פרסום ראשון: 12.27.05, 21:58
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