When an Israeli and a Palestinian marry, they lose the security and social network taken for granted by other citizens. Well-crafted docu “Love During Wartime” uses the story of Jewish dancer Jasmin Avissar and Muslim artist Osama Zatar (aka “Assi”) to examine this little-discussed fallout from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Swedish helmer Gabriella Bier poignantly shows the indomitable pair’s increasing frustration and outrage as circumstances prevent them from living as a couple among family and friends in either country. Broadcasters, fests, Jewish-interest and human-rights events should take note.
When the controversial Israeli citizenship law prevents Ramallah-born Zatar from living with Avissar in Israel, and harassment from locals eliminates the possibility of them living in the West Bank, they opt for Germany, where Avissar’s mother was born. But Teuton visa restrictions and apparent prejudice create problems. Speaking separately and together, the articulate, attractive young people display a wry humor about the price they have to pay for love. Commentary from Avissar’s liberal parents, an attorney and Zatar’s siblings and friends in the Palestinian territories adds insight. Intimate production package feels as warm as its subjects. Helmer is cousin of Oscar-nommed Susanne Bier.