To See If I'm Smiling

For young Israeli women, serving in the army can be a crash course in gender relations, but the lesson is one shared by all, as conscription is mandatory. Those who serve in the occupied Palestinian territories, however, face challenges to their core principles that many keep well hidden long after their service ends. To See If I'm Smiling opens a door to that hiding place in moving, deeply personal interviews with women who served as medics, welfare officers, combat soldiers, and radio operators in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. All say they were inspired by a soldier's first duty, to protect her fellow soldiers in combat; all witnessed, and some caused, the abuse or death of Palestinian civilians. Ultimately, To See If I'm Smiling is a thoughtful and troubling reflection on what it is to be a soldier, as one woman puts it, “struggling to remain humane, at least a little.”

This page may by only partially complete. For additional information about this film, view the original entry on our archived site.