Beyond the Walls (1984 film)

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Me'Ahorei Hasoragim
Directed by Uri Barbash
Produced by Rudy Cohen
Katriel Schori
Written by Benny Barbash
Eran Preis
Starring Arnon Zadok
Mohammed Bakri
Assi Dayan
Rami Danon
Music by Ilan Virtzberg
Cinematography Amnon Salomon
Edited by Tova Asher
Release date
  • 15 February 1985 (1985-02-15) (USA)
Running time
103 minutes
Country Israel
Language Hebrew
Box office $400,000[1]

Beyond the Walls (Hebrew: מאחורי הסורגים‎, MeAhorei HaSoragim, lit. "Behind the Bars") is a 1984 Israeli film directed by Uri Barbash and written by his brother Benny Barbash and Eran Preis. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.[2]


The story takes place in the high-security block of the central Israel Prison Service jail. Uri and Issam are the leaders of the Israeli and Palestinian prisoner groups, respectively. After a musical performance in the prison, a row breaks out between Hoffman, a Jewish inmate, and a Palestinian. When Hoffman is killed, the security officer initiates a fight between the sides, pinning the blame for the murder on Issam's cell. Doron, the only Jewish prisoner in the Arab cell, is asked to sign a document implicating Issam in the crime, but refuses and commits suicide. He leaves a note saying that his cell was not responsible for the crime. As a result, Uri and Issam begin a general hunger strike, and make personal sacrifices in order not to break it.


  • Uri (Arnon Zadok) is serving his second sentence for armed robbery, and has been a criminal from a young age. He is the leader of all Jewish prisoners in his cellblock.
  • Issam (Muhammad Bakri) is a Fatah terrorist who turns moderate in prison. He is the leader of the Palestinian cell.
  • Asaf (Asi Dayan) is a former IDF officer sentenced for contacting a PLO agent in Europe. He is initially disliked and distrusted by both sides, but normalizes his relations with Uri.
  • "The Songbird" (Boaz Sharabi) is a talented singer and musician from Uri's cell, and the first prisoner to participate in a national music festival in Israel.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ ISRAELI FILM CAPTURES VENICE CRITICS' PRIZE BORSTEN, JOAN. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 04 Sep 1984: g3.
  2. ^ "The 57th Academy Awards (1985) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 2013-10-30. 

External links[edit]