New Film Born Out of Lesbian Affair Between Palestinian and Israeli Officer During Gaza War

Director Samira Saraya explains why she had to cast herself in the lead role and why she’s fed up with the depictions of Arab women in Israeli cinema

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Samira Saraya and Hadas Yaron in “Polygraph.”
Nirit Anderman
Nirit Anderman

The opening scene of Samira Saraya’s short film “Polygraph” takes place in bed. Two women – one a Palestinian Arab, the other a Jewish Israeli – are having passionate sex when a warning siren suddenly interrupts their intimacy. For a second they freeze, but then the Arab woman looks straight at her partner, turns her on her back and takes the controlling position on top. The siren keeps blaring, but the women ignore it and carry on as before.