This Way Up

PBS Premiere: Aug. 25, 2009Check the broadcast schedule »

Separated by Borders

Video clip excerpted from This Way Up.

In this video clip chosen to accompany the This Way Up lesson plan, Mary's son Georges sneaks over the security barrier in the West Bank to see her at the Our Lady of Sorrows nursing home. He tells her about the way the security barrier in the West Bank has divided his fiancée from him.

The majority of residents — and staff — of the Our Lady of Sorrows nursing home come from the West Bank, and most of their families continue to live there. The security barrier has made daily life more difficult for the staff and residents of the home from the West Bank, as visitors must go through a series of checkpoints or else must scale the wall without being detected.

As the wall grows into an implacable presence in their lives, the residents of Our Lady of Sorrows reveal equal parts anger, fortitude, eccentricity and humor as they contemplate living out their lives on the front line of one of the world's most enduring conflicts. Beautifully shot and eloquently constructed, This Way Up examines a wall of geo-political consequence in the most intimate way — through its impact on the lives of some of the most vulnerable people affected by it. In this way, the film interrogates the effects of all walls that divide communities, families and psyches for the sake of security.

There are many other stories of families and friends being separated by the security barrier in the West Bank, as well as by other famous walls, such as the Berlin Wall. One Palestinian Christian couple recounted their separation in a BBC report earlier this year. Twenty-four year old accountant Sameer Khoury, is praying that he will soon be reunited with the girl he wants to marry.

"We started seeing each other five years ago," says Sameer. "We are engaged, but we haven't met for a year because Israel doesn't let us move around freely." Read more »

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