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Hot Docs 2017 Review: “Death in the Terminal” (2016) ★★★★★


I personally can’t watch films or even documentary films that contain graphic scenes or even killing scenes. When it happens in a film, I still can handle somehow, but when it’s real, then no, thank you! The presence of blood is enough for me to feel sick to my stomach. But all these was nothing in comparison to what I had to see in Death in the Terminal. Firstly, it was a complete shock as everything would occur in slow-motion where I am watching the same thing all over again, but from a different angle. But what I did not know, or did not see coming, is the shocking revelation of the entire story… which made me so angry I wish I knew to express it better…
The terror attack that is told in Death in the Terminal occurred back in October 18, 2015, when a gunman enters the bus terminal, shoots the guard, and then takes his riffle and starts shooting at people. But what happens afterwards is more shocking than the entire, please pardon me, terrorist attack itself when another presumed gunman was brought down with seven bullets to his body. He is lying on the floor, injured and about to die. People around him think that he is a guy who was one of the attackers… and then the chaos begins… benches are being thrown at him, he is beaten so badly I would not recommend you watch it if you have heart issues… But all that was just the beginning of a stunning night and the end of it is expected to be even more disturbing in terms of the identity of that particular man…
The day, as you can judge by the footage from the surveillance cameras, was just another day for Beersheba’s bus station. Passengers would arrive and depart the city without concern or disturbance. The falafel store is open, Daniel Harush, a soldier with his friend Ben is heading towards the bathroom. Lohi Levi, a clothing store worker who wants to become a nurse had no idea she was to get a chance to practice her newly learnt first aid skills. Ronen, a prison officer, was not even at the station when the shooting started, but soon will be inside. And Moshe Kochavi, a man who you will continuously admire for his bravery, was there as well. All are there for different reasons, but stuck because of one….
It’s hard to tell how many times I wanted to stop watching Death in the Terminal. It was unbearably painful to watch this movie, especially after watching Lana Wilson’s The Departure, where another human being does an amazing job to save more people’s lives from committing suicide. And here, in Asaf Sundry and Tali Shemesh’s film, you watch an Eritrean man lay down injured, unable to move, perhaps with no ability to feel any pain any more, but sees how people surround him to beat him up to death because they thought he was the second terrorist.
But he was not, oh no, he was not a terrorist at all. But that won’t matter during that moment because people started acting like animals that ran away from a cage while the desire to take law into their own hands was way stronger… It is just the target they picked appeared to be wrong… But they will have a long journey before they all will realize it… But when that happens, they will be left to leave the rest of their lives with a heavy burden they can hardly get rid of… And that is the list you will see from this masterfully directed, well narrated, and such subtly edited film from where you learn we are no better than any terrorist when an opportunity comes to unlock that beast that hides inside of us….

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About Ulkar Alakbarova (965 Articles)
My name is Ulkar Alakbarova. A wonderful name, is it not? I come from the exotic land of Azerbaijan but now I live in the hub of Hollywood North – Toronto, Canada. How lucky I am to be able to enjoy and indulge in my favourite avocation of watching movies. Movies of every genre are screened here in Toronto. There are black and white classics, avant garde, independently produced, and of course, newly released movies for all to enjoy. Let me share this treasure of entertainment with you. Read my thoughts and opinions then let me know if you agree.

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