Hebron, only a dot on the world map, but a place that is known and recognized worldwide as the center of many conflicts between Israelis and Palestinians. It is also the place where patriarch Abraham has his tomb. Esther Hertog, a young Israeli – Dutch filmmaker spent three years in Hebron. She observed the daily life of the settlers, which resulted in a fascinating document, the absurd mix of soldiers, ideological settlers and their children playing. As a character driven documentary the essential narrative of ‘Soldier on the Roof’ depicts the filmmaker’s personal quest to understand the daily lives and motivations of Hebron’s settlers.
Born in Amsterdam 1978, at the age of 12 Esther Hertog immigrated with her artist family to Israel. There she went to a high school of arts and studied photography. Esther traveled twice with her photo camera for long periods to Asia. and shown the photos in exhibition in Israel. She for a BA study in Anthropology in the Netherlands, combining this with her love for the Visual arts via Visual Anthropology. Esther completed her BA with the documentary Ossama’s Dance. Esther completed an MA in Visual anthropology at Manchester University.
Since her graduation in 2007 Esther has worked as camerawoman, researcher and editor on several film projects in the Netherlands, the Middle East and Rwanda. In 2009 Esther found herself being interviewed on a Palestinian rooftop in Hebron. This interview resulted in her being assaulted by a gang of young Israeli settler boys. That moment she decided to return to Hebron and film from within the settler community to document their daily lives and belief system.