Muhi – Generally Temporary 2017

Director: Rina Castelnuovo-Hollander & Tamir Elterman | Documentary | 85 min. | Worldsales: Lagardere Studios Distribution | Festivaks: Go2Films

Festivals/ Awards

* DOKUarts Bjelovar, Croatia 2019: Audience Award
* Unicef Photo of the Year Award 2018: 3. Price
* Move it! Dresden, Germany: Human Rights Award of Dresden
* Flahertiana Film Festival, Perm, Russland: Silver Nanook
* Neiße Filmfestival, Germany: Audience Award
* Festival internazionale Segni della Notte, Urbino, Italy: Edward Snowden Award
* Le Voci dell'Inchiesta, Italy: Grand Jury Prize & Audience Award
* Millenium Festival, Belgium: Audience Award
* Santa Barbara Jewish Film Festival, USA: Best Documentary Film
* Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival, Greece: Special Mention, Amnesty International Jury
* Sochi International Film Festival, Russia: Best Documentary Award
* Guangzhou Doc International Film Festival, China: Golden Kapok Award for Superior Documentary Feature & Golden Kapok Award for Superior Directors
* Internacional Festival Signos de la Noite, Portugal: Night Award
* UK Jewish Film Festival, UK: Audience Award
* DOK Leipzig, Germany: Golden Dove Award
* Docaviv Int'l Film Festival, Israel: Best Debut

For the last 7 years, Muhi, a Palestinian child from Gaza, has been living in an Israeli hospital, accompanied only by his grandfather, both confined to the hospital’s grounds due to security restrictions; here he is treated, cured and raised by his people’s enemy while his parents are marooned in Gaza. To save Muhi’s life, Israeli doctors had to amputate his four limbs, a matter of controversy for the child’s father in Gaza, who is accusing the hospital for malpractice and has been demanding his son’s return. But Israeli and Gazan doctors agree that with Gaza’s healthcare nearly shattered it would be a death sentence to the child. Months turn to years and Muhi, almost 7, is caught between two homes and two peoples. He is growing up as an Arab and a Jew at the last oasis where Israelis and Palestinians meet. Here he is watched over by his Palestinian grandfather Abu Naim and an Israeli, Buma Inbar, both men having lost sons due to conflict and war, formed this extraordinary friendship with the goal to secure a future for the child, whether in Israel or Gaza. Muhi’s future is a tug-of-war of pressures between the Israeli hospital, his Gaza family and the inevitable politics surrounding the child.The Israeli hospital says Muhi should never return to Gaza, he must stay in Israel for the care that keeps him alive, yet the hospital can’t keep him forever. Muhi’s grandfather has been often denied a permit to stay in Israel, constantly fearing deportation. Muhi’s father opposes the child’s future in Israel, claiming growing up as an Israeli will further distant his child from his Gaza family and his people. Meanwhile, Muhi and his grandfather continue to wander from ward to ward, in the same hospital territory, like medical refugees.

Although Muhi receives medical care, he is growing up without maternal care; the film explores Muhi’s complex and often contradictory world by following him and his Israeli and Palestinian guardians whose personal war could only be lost. The film ends when Muhi starts first grade in Israel. He is finally outside the hospital and starting a new life on his own away from the hospital, yet separated from his mother and family.


Supported by:



“MUHI: Generally Temporary” is essential viewing for understanding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in human terms.

Eric Kohn, Indiewire


The filming took more than three years. The result is one of those rare films, that reach far beyond regular movie going experience. They grasp your heart and mind and never let you go. An intimate story with just a few characters, it emerges as a metaphor, which relates to thousands and millions.

Maxim Reider, Times of Israel


They can’t do it alone, they can’t do it against each other, they can’t do it without forgiveness, and possibly not even without faith. “Muhi – Generally Temporary” introduces us to three people who fight the political impositions in their home country with love. How they manage to do that is what the filmmakers present with a persistence and precision that are exemplary – on the artistic and on the human level.

Jury Statement Golden Dove DOK Leipzig


With sensitivity, an artist’s hand and with infinite delicacy, the creators of Muhi, Rina Castelnuovo-Hollander and Tamir Alterman, succeed in presenting a moving, restless story that evokes a variety of strong emotions, ranging from anger and pain to love and compassion.

Nir Yahav, Walla!




Human Rights Film Festival Berlin, Germany

Festival Flahertiana, Russia

Neisse Film Festival, Germany (Winner Audience Award)

Festival international Signes de Nuit, Italy (Edward Snowden Award)

Le Voci dell’Inchiesta, Italy (Grand Jury Prize & Audience Award)

Millenium Festival, Belgium (Audience Award)

Santa Barbara Jewish Film Festival, USA (Best Documentary Film)

Istanbul International Film Festival, Turkey

One World Film Festival, Czech Republic

Ambulante – Gira Documentales, Mexico

Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival, Greece (Special Mention, Amnesty International Jury)

Human Rights Watch London, UK

Sedona International Film Festival, USA

Human Rights Watch Amsterdam, Netherlands

Dhaka International Film Festival, Bangladesh


Limmud, UK

Nagle Family Jewish Film Festival, USA

Sochi International Film Festival, Russia (Best Documentary Award)

Guangzhou Doc International Film Festival, China (Golden Kapok Award for Superior Documentary Feature and the Golden Kapok Award for Superior Directors)


Human Rights Film Festival Zurich, Switzerland

Internacional Festival Signos de la Noite, Portugal (Night Award)

IDFA, Netherlands (2. Place Audience Award)

UK Jewish Film Festival, UK (Audience Award)

Vancouver Jewish Film Festival, Canada

Boston Jewish Film Festival, USA

Other Israel Film Festival, USA

LA Israeli Film Festival, USA

Calgary Jewish Film Festival, Canada

Sichuan TV Festival, China

DOK Leipzig, Germany (Golden Dove Award, Best Film in German Competition)

Hamptons International Film Festival, USA

Australia Jewish Film Festival, Australia

New York Human Rights Film Festival, USA

AFI Docs Int’l Film Festival, USA

Docaviv Int’l Film Festival, Israel (Best Debut)

Hot Docs Int’l Film Festival, Canada (Top Ten Audience Choice)

San Francisco International Film Festival, USA (Worldpremier)


Rina Castelnuovo-Hollander & Tamir Elterman


Avner Shahaf, Tamir Elterman, Oded Kirma, Rina Castelnuovo-Hollander


Joelle Alexis


yes Docu - Guy Lavie; EO - Margje de Koning; RSI - Bruno Bergomi


Hilla Medalia, Medalia Productions and Jürgen Kleinig, Neue Celluloid Fabrik


Executive Producers: Tina Leeb, Jill Samuels, John & Ed Priddy, Danna Stern


Mitteldeutsche Medienfoerderung MDM; Filmförderanstalt FFA; Rabinovich Foundation; Israel Ministry of Culture and Sport; The Israeli Film Council; Chicken & Egg Pictures; Hartley Film Foundation; Bertha Foundation; Supported by: Independent Film Project IFP; Sheffield Meet Market; IDFA Forum; CoPro-Documentary Marketing Foundation RA