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// Films // Zero Degrees of Separation

National Film Board

Zero Degrees of Separation

Elle Flanders / Canada / 2005 / 85 ' / Arabic - Hebrew / S.T. English


Cathy Gulkin
Elle Flanders
Christopher J. Romeike
Dave Wall
Elle Flanders, Paul Lee & Peter Starr
Thanks: John Greyson

Links & Reviews

Awards & Festivals

Award Winner USA Columbus International Film and Video Festival, NOV-06
Award Winner France 28th International Women’s Film Festival, Creteil, MARCH-06
Award Winner India Mumbai International Film Festival FEB-06
Award Winner Italy Torino Women Film Festival "La Mo-Viola", OCT-05
Award Winner USA San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival – Frameline, JUN-05
Award Winner Spain Barcelona Mostra Internacional de Films de Donnes, JUN-05
Award Winner Canada Toronto Inside Out Toronto Lesbian and Gay Film and Video Festival, MAY-05

Upcoming Screenings

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In Production

If love conquers all, the couples at the center of this potent documentary have got a lot of conquering to do.


Based around a trip director Elle Flanders took back to Israel, where she lived as a child, ZERO focuses on two gay couples who literally span that country's divide. Selim is a Palestinian who navigates the labyrinthine rules governing his presence in Israel to be with his Jewish lover, Ezra. The activist Ezra takes the filmmaker on a long driving tour of oppression, getting into heated and fearless exchanges along the way with Israeli soldiers, while Selim mournfully attempts to straighten out his legal status. Meanwhile, Edit confronts her own guilt about being a part of the system that oppresses her Palestinian lover, Samira.

The searing honesty of these romantic realists will quickly dispel any sentimental notions the viewer may have about love in a time of war. The roads these partners travel to be with each other are tricky and full of emotional and physical land mines, and Flanders unflinchingly portrays Israel as a land in decline. While the mournful tone is emphasized by haunting archival footage of Flanders family in the Holy Land in the 50s, the overall legacy of the film is one of gritty, hard-won hope, scraped out of the broken cement and rubble of occupation.


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