Directed by b.h. Yael ∙ 2010 ∙ Canada
KEN, TOV, BESEDER is a constructed short narrative piece, both allegorical and literal. A Palestinian man working in his garden in West Jerusalem is interrupted. The phone rings as he walks out of his home, through Jerusalem streets, past the Damascus gate, out past settlements and the Wall. He is speaking on the phone saying, “Ken, tov, beseder.” “Yes, good, alright.” At times acquiescent, at times frustrated, insistent and soothing, he negotiates through these three Hebrew words. Arriving at a garden store by the side of a road, he stops, looks at the flowers, and says, “Khallas.” (Arabic for “Enough”). Cutaways interrupt the man’s journey, images of maps from 1948, 1967, 1977, 1993 and 2002, corresponding to his location and to significant dates in the past 62 year history of Palestine/Israel. The man is walking, as it were, through time and space.
First, the piece starts in 1948 — at the moment of the formation of the Israeli state and the Palestinian Nakbah — continuing through the beginning of occupation, the beginning of the settlement project, the Oslo agreements, and the start of the building of the walls and fences throughout the West Bank. It references the majestic homes that were taken over by Jewish settlers and immigrants in 1948 and the displacement of internal refugees. It also extends to the continued ‘peace’ deals and the question, "what negotiation is to be had?" At the same time the video has a humourous quality, through repetition in the dominant language of communication, but also referencing working relations between Palestinians and Israelis.