Thursday, May 24, 2018

Fauda Season 1


Fauda Season 1

A few minor spoiler alerts: 

So I’d started watching Fauda Season 1 more than a year ago and never finished it I guess because it didn’t take hold of me. 

But a little while ago, I dug into it again, started from Episode 1 and over time finished it all. It did take hold of me this time. The story got its hooks into me. 

As I watched, I became very interested in how the show “balanced the equities,” so to say, as between Jews and Arabs. Even in that balancing, unquestionably, “the Panther” reflects the heights of fanatical, ends-justify-the-means evil and nihilistic malevolence.

One thing I note is the easy Semitic interchangeability between Arab and Jew, exploited by the Israeli counter intelligence group whose members can so easily pass as Arabs. (The show doesn’t show the vice versa of that.) 

That easy interchangeability raises for me the thematic implication of deeply underlying commonality between Arab and Jew despite their  obvious hatred and hostility, with that commonality measuring the tragic futility of the perpetual war between them. 

I find that implication both reinforced by the winking and sincerely congenial cooperation between certain high level Fatah, the odd Hamasian, and Jewish intelligence and counter intelligence agencies and the Israeli hospitality to and successful hospitalization of the Panther’s daughter, which leads to saving her eye.  

Abir’s mother is tormented and pulled apart by her daughter being medically treated by Jews in a Jewish hospital but is thankful for and acknowledges the superior and successful medical treatment Abir has gotten. So, in line with my view of the theme of season 1, the tragic and futile absurdity of the Arab Jew hatreds get symbolized by a pink, stuffed Teddy Bear the hospital staff kindly and genuinely gives to Abir. 

In the midst of her torment, Abir’s mother, Nassrin, while enroute to the airport with her children to leave the Mid East and the Panther behind, impulsively takes the bear away from Abir, has their taxi stop and places it on a bench at a bus stop. Abir tearfully rejects Nassrin’s explanation that the “Jewish bear is no good” and that she’ll get her a better one. Abir wants only the Jewish bear and keeps saying so through her tears.

As well, the genuinely deep feelings Doron and Shirin have for each other, even as Doron passes for an Arab when with her, convey an emotional and human connection that implicatively transcends ethnic division.  

And then to top all this off, it just so happens that I finished watching Season 1 yesterday and Netflix has “dropped,” as in is presenting, Season 2 today.

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