AJFF Review: Error Drives ‘Death in the Terminal’
ArtsAtlanta Jewish Film Festival

AJFF Review: Error Drives ‘Death in the Terminal’

The documentary combines different views of what happened during a tragic day in Be'er Sheva.

Sarah Moosazadeh

Sarah Moosazadeh is a staff writer for the Atlanta Jewish Times.

If there is one word to describe the documentary “Death in the Terminal,” it is “suspenseful.”

From beginning to end, viewers are left hanging as they try to piece together the events that led to the death of an Eritrean man mistaken for a terrorist at a Be’er Sheva bus terminal in 2015.

Eyewitness accounts from Israeli soldiers, police and civilians paint a vivid picture of the deadly attack, while video footage captures the events.

Civilians are seen passing through the otherwise-empty station before gunshots ring out. Seconds later, surveillance reveals men and women running in different directions, except for an Eritrean man and an Israeli soldier who lie semiconscious on the floor.

What happens next will leave you in shock: Soldiers and officers take turns kicking and beating the 29-year-old Eritrean until paramedics arrive.

Although the interviews within the documentary are repetitive, they help shape the perception of the incident and provide background as to what took place.

Still, the documentary leaves much to ponder, such as who the Eritrean was, what led officers to identify him as a terrorist among a large crowd, and how the incident is being handled in Israel today.

Viewers must interpret the crime scene themselves and separate fact from fiction as they try to piece together the terrorist attack and its aftermath. The award-winning documentary is enthralling and a must-see.

(Atlanta Jewish Film Festival screenings: Feb. 11, 11:10 a.m., Springs, and 1:20 p.m., Tara)

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