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Friday Film: Five Years Later, Gilad Shalit Is Still Captive

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On June 23, the International Red Cross asked Hamas to provide proof that Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier captured in June 2006, is still alive. Hamas — to no one’s surprise — refused.

The timing is not coincidental. June 25 will mark five years that Shalit has been held prisoner by Hamas, without any direct contact from his family or visits from humanitarian organizations. This week and next, in an effort to keep Shalit’s plight on the front burner of American Jewish consciousness, Jewish community centers and synagogues across the country are screening “Family in Captivity,” a film by director Tal Goren focusing not on Shalit himself, but on the heart-wrenching ordeal suffered by his family since his abduction.

“Family in Captivity” is a moving, powerful film. Though it could be dismissed as an ineffectual effort at “raising awareness” — something audience members can pat themselves on the back for having seen, without actually doing anything about — it has a more ambitious purpose: to free Gilad Shalit.

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Friday Film: Five Years Later, Gilad Shalit Is Still Captive

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