'200 Meters', which was nominated for Oscar consideration, deals with real-life people smuggling across the Israel-Palestine border.
200 Meters, directed by Ameen Nayfeh and starring Motaz Malhees, is now available on Netflix.
Written and directed by Ameen Nayfeh, 200 Meters is an international co-production that involves producers from Palestine, Jordan, Italy and Sweden.
The Palestinian director’s debut feature was in production for seven years,
Mustafa and his wife Salwa are from two Palestinian West Bank villages only 200 meters apart but split by Israel’s separation wall. Mustafa lives on the Palestinian-controlled side of the wall, and Salwa and their children are on the Israeli side. One day Mustafa gets the call every parent dreads: his son has been in an accident and is in the hospital. Mustafa will do anything to reach him, and after being denied access through the checkpoint on a technicality, he embarks upon a journey to cross the border illegally. The 200-meter distance soon becomes a 200-kilometre odyssey. Palestinian director Ameen Nayfeh’s debut drama shows us the life-threatening struggles of daily life under occupation in an urgent story of resistance, dignity, family and hope.
Since its release in 2021, it has won 16 awards across the world and picking up rave reviews. And it was selected as the Jordanian entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 93rd Academy Awards.
Motaz Malhees said: “We were filming the smuggling scene in the trunk. After three hours of shooting, I jumped out of the trunk and literally passed out because of oxygen deficiency and found myself in an ambulance. When I woke up, I thought I was surrounded by angels, later on, I realised they were in fact doctors treating me.”
The film is based on a true-life story, and “unfortunately a pretty common one, many Palestinians live this reality daily in so many different ways,” added Motaz.
“I knew the film was going to be something special when I found out about my character in the movie. I was given a year to prepare for the film, so I had the time to really learn and understand it in the best way possible. Every moment in the process and every single part of it meant something to me,” concluded Motaz.