State of Affairs

The Mute's House

Tamar Kay
Screening time  
27.02. / Monday, 16:00 - 18:00 Theatre 1  

Eight-year-old Yousef and his deaf mother Sahar are the last Palestinian residents of an otherwise deserted building in the Israeli part of the city of Hebron. Their island within the Jewish quarter is called The Mute’s House by Israeli soldiers, even though Sahar isn’t mute at all. Travel agencies have included the property in their tours. Yousef makes good use of his privilege to cross the border when he goes to school. Through the tour guides’ explanations, we learn the story of Yousef and Sahar, who bravely withstand all the threats and bullying. None of Yousef’s Palestinian classmates can come to his house, and filmmaker Tamar Kay isn’t allowed to cross the border to film the Palestinian quarter with Yousef. Despite his disability – Yousef was born with one arm – he amuses himself with the chickens, goats and rabbits that forage among the ruined neighbouring houses, and he plays the guitar and video games. The remarkable situation elegantly illustrates the absurdity of the endless conflict.


Tamar Kay

Tamar Kay is director born in Jerusalem in 1985. She studied Psychology and Philosophy at the Hebrew University and graduated from the Sam Spiegel Film & Television School in 2015. Tamar was assistant editor to American documentarist Susan Korda and has worked with the filmmakers Willy Lindwer and Anat Zuria. The Mute's House is her graduation film.

General sponsor

Beit Ha'Ilemet

2015, 31'

Directed by:
Tamar Kay

Screenplay by:
Tamar Kay

Zvi Landsman

Edited by:
Shira Mazuz

Alon Peretz

Tamar Kay, Ariel Richter

Produced by:
The Sam Spiegel Film & TV School

Festivals & Awards:

Special Jury Award for Student Documentary; Full Frame Documentary Film Festival 2016; Docaviv 2016; The International Student Film Festival, Israel 2016; Krakow Film Festival 2016; San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 2016; The Jerusalem Film Festival, Israel 2016; Montefeltro Film School Festival Romagna 2016; Montenegro Film Festival 2016; International Human Rights Film Festival, Tirana 2016; 2ANNAS International Film Festival 2016