“Waiting for Quds” finds director Devorah Blachor following a cousin around during an especially grueling period in an already difficult life path: The middle-class U.S. Jewess-turned-Israel emigre and U.N. legal consultant is pregnant with her first child, by her Palestinian-Arab husband who is back behind Israeli bars on charges unspecified, for a length extended at the government’s whim. Not as polished or expansive as Elle Flanders’ similarly themed recent “Zero Degrees of Separation,” this verite study of love and idealism swimming against overwhelming political tides still grips viewer attention. Fest and select broadcast gigs are signaled.
Allegra Pacheco reluctantly fell for client Abed al-Ahmar while Abed was shuffled from one Israeli prison to another, mostly on administrative detentions that under Israeli law required no actual charge or sentencing. Relatives and intimates on both sides advised the thirtysomethings against marriage — some calling the idea an outright race betrayal, others worrying it was a wishful leap over sensitive political boundaries. Sense of profound injustice prevails over against-the-odds inspirational value, but involving human interest nonetheless keeps the pic from being a relentless downer.