Israel, 2005 | Doc, 58 min, | Video
Director: Ohad Ufaz
Producer: Itay Ken-Tor, Co-produced with: Nik Media, Netherland Micha Shagrir, Israel
Gadi Tzdaka has always felt trapped by the “ghetto walls” of the Samaritan neighborhood, with its strict form of education and stringent religious laws. His father Hillel wanted his first born son to adopt devout religious faith as he had, but Gadi longed for freedom.
Gadi’s ancestors, the ancient Samaritans, split off from Judaism 3,000 years ago. They celebrate their holidays with pilgrimages to the ancient altar on Mt. Gerizim. Today, only 600 Samaritans remain. They live in two neighborhoods: one in the Palestinian city of Nablus and the other in the Israeli city of Holon. All those who left the neighborhood up to the present also ended up leaving the sect. At age 33, Gadi wants to live his own life - to be free to love, work, create, and raise his children in a more modern way. Filled with misgivings and indecision, he leaves the Samaritan neighborhood, despite the protest of members of his sect and his father`s anger.
The Wandering Samaritan is about a man confronting his own past and identity. It documents the life of Gadi and the Tzdaka family on a personal level and explores the Samaritan tradition and the Samaritan way of life. The film portrays Gadi as a person straddling the fence between Israel and Palestine and between east and west. He is torn between his desire to preserve tradition and his hopes for progress and freedom -- between his respect for his father and his desire to fulfill his own dreams.
Jury Citation, Religion Today Film Festival in Trento, Italy 2005
Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival
Medimed Documentary Market, Spain 2005
Selected for Leipzig Documentary Market 2005
Religion Today Film Festival in Trento, Italy 2005
Torun Film Festival, Poland 2005
"very well made and extremely interesting, the film is like an exploration of far away times, a glimpse at the Hebrew religious life before the building of the Temple"
Pierre Sorlin, Professor of sociology of the audiovisual media at the Sorbonne.
" A story of great interest told through the form of extraordinary photographic
and cinematographic quality"
Jury members of Trento Film Festival, Italy 2005, Citation to the film