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34

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 6 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: The ancient walled city of Akka in northern Israel is inhabited by Muslims, Christians, Jews, and Baha'i, but its history goes all the way back to rule of the Egyptian Pharaohs. As Akka undergoes harsh economic pressures and vast social change, the present-day situation is causing Arab families to leave the places where they have grown roots for dozens of generations and shaped a rich culture for over a thousand years. This film focuses on the aspirations and concerns of the Palestinian inhabitants who call the Old City home. Atop a forty-foot, centuries-old seawall in this ancient port city, young people dare to stand along the one-meter thick structure and risk their fate by jumping into the roiling waters below. This perilous tradition has continued for many generations and has become a rite of passage for the children of Akka. Within their current dilemma, jumping from the ancient seawall becomes not only an expression of extreme exhilaration, but also a matter of self-determination. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 6
  2. Negative: 2 out of 6
  1. Reviewed by: Farran Smith Nehme
    Nov 22, 2013
    63
    Technically, the film isn’t terribly exciting: talking heads interspersed with shots of young people making their symbolic “leap of faith” from the walls. But the directors have chosen eloquent interviewees, and the passionate attachment they feel for their city gives the film heart.
  2. Reviewed by: Frank Scheck
    Nov 21, 2013
    40
    Directors Patrick Alexander Stewart, Gina M. Angelone and Mouna B. Stewart have failed to construct the often emotional personal accounts into a compelling film.
  3. Reviewed by: Nicolas Rapold
    Nov 21, 2013
    40
    The film feels like a work of community advocacy.
  4. Reviewed by: Gary Goldstein
    Jan 1, 2014
    40
    This brief film often feels like an extended gripe session instead of something more profound or game-changing.
  5. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    Nov 25, 2013
    30
    The three director-producers’ inability to come up with stronger narrative or thematic organization makes “It’s Better to Jump” play like the professionally polished side product of a vacation stay.
  6. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Nov 19, 2013
    20
    Without comments from Akka's Jewish residents or any conflicting voices, the film plays like a propagandistic attempt to reshape historical and contemporary narratives.

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