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Films on Human Rights and International Law in Palestine/Israel

January 29th, 2010

Films focusing on Israel's apartheid wall

The Iron Wall, Produced by Mohammed Alatar, Released 2006

Running time 52 minutes

The Iron Wall documentary exposes the timeline, size and population of the settlements, and their impact on the peace process. This film also touches on the latest project to make the settlements a permanent fact on the ground - the wall that Israel is building in the West Bank and its impact on the Palestinian's peoples. Settlements and related infrastructures are impacting every aspect of life for all Palestinians from land confiscation, theft of natural resources, confiscation of the basic human rights, creation of an apartheid-like system, to the devastating impact in regards to the future of the region and the prospect of the peace process. Palestinians and Israelis began the peace process based on a very simple principle: land for peace. Settlements destroy that principle and create a land with no peace.

Available for purchase here.

Occupation 101, Produced by Sufyan Omeish and Abdallah Omeish, Released 2007

Running time 90 minutes

This film details life under Israeli military rule, the role of the United States in the conflict, and the major obstacles that stand in the way of a lasting and viable peace. The roots of the conflict are explained through first-hand on-the-ground experiences from leading Middle East scholars, peace activists, journalists, religious leaders and humanitarian workers whose voices have too often been suppressed in American media outlets. The film covers a wide range of topics including the first wave of Jewish immigration from Europe in the 1880's, the 1920 tensions, the 1948 war, the 1967 war, the first Intifada of 1987, the Oslo Peace Process, Settlement expansion, the role of the United States Government, the second Intifada of 2000, the separation barrier and the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, as well as many heart wrenching testimonials from victims of this tragedy.

Available for purchase here.

Rana’s Wedding, Directed by Hany Abu-Assad, Released 2004

Running time 90 minutes

Rana wakes up one morning to an ultimatum delivered by her father: She must either choose a husband from a pre-selected list of eligible men, or she must accompany her father abroad. Rana's Wedding is a romantic drama about a Palestinian girl who wants to get married to the man of her own choice. With only ten hours to find her boyfriend in occupied Jerusalem, Rana sneaks out of her father's house at daybreak to find her forbidden love, Khalil. Facing barriers and occupation which have become an everyday reality, Rana overcomes her fears and doubts, deciding not to let anyone control her life.

Available for purchase here.

Wall of Shame, Produced by Alternate Focus, Released 2003

Running time 28 minutes

The wall being constructed on the West Bank by the Israeli government is twenty-five feet high. Studded with guard towers and armaments, and encrusted with high-tech sensors, the wall cuts across the land, separating Palestinians from their own farms, their own neighbors, and from the Israeli settlements which have sprung up rapidly as a result of lavish subsidies from the Israeli government. Alternate Focus cameraman Rodney Devereux brings us face-to face with the wall and all its implications.

Available for free here.

Films focused on the Gaza Strip

Dispatches: The Killing Zone, Produced by Rodrigo Vasquez, Released 2006

Running time 49 minutes

In this report for Britain's Channel 4, reporter Sandra Jordan and producer Rodrigo Vasquez face gunfire and tear gas within hours of arriving at a memorial service for Rachel Corrie, the peace activist crushed by an army bulldozer two days before.

The Dispatches team reveals what life is really like in a war zone. They capture on film the aftermath of an Israeli missile attack that assassinates a leader of the deadly Hamas group. Children playing in the street nearby are killed or have limbs blown off. Jordan and Vasquez film the impact of an attack in which Israeli troops fire shells that explode in mid air above densely populated areas and spray thousands of razor sharp darts in a wide arc. The team also encounters sniper fire from Israeli watchtowers, and endures tank shelling alongside a class of cowering school children.

Available for free here.

Erased - Wiped off the Map, Produced by C.I. Comunicion

Running time 8 minutes

This documentary, filmed inside Gaza during the Israeli siege, shows the human cost of the violent attack. It offers witness to the frequent bombing of schools, markets, United Nations buildings, and densely populated city centers that terrorized the Palestinian civilian population. Through exposure of the many casualties, including women and children, this video captures the terrible emotions experienced during the attack.

Available for free in 6 parts here.

Tunnel Trade, by Laila El-Haddad and Saeed Taji Farouky, Released 2007
Two part series, total running time 22 minutes total
Everything moves through Rafah's tunnels: from cigarettes and medicine to cash and people. But the residents have also suffered enormously. Israeli operations to destroy the tunnels have demolished thousands of homes over the past seven years. Israel's main concern with the tunnels is the smuggling of weapons to armed Palestinian groups. But for the smugglers themselves, there is far more to the tunnel trade than politics and arms smuggling. It is a vast enterprise, and pays five times an average annual Gaza salary in one month. People & Power investigates one of the most lucrative businesses in Palestine.

Available for free here.

Young Freud in Gaza, by Pe Holmquist and Suzanne Khardalian, Released 2009

2 part series, total running time 58 minutes

Young Freud in Gaza profiles Ayed, a young psychotherapist for the Palestinian Authority's Clinic for Mental Health, and shows his consultations with a variety of patients, both male and female, adults and children, in his office and during house calls, providing therapy or prescribing medication for depression, stress, anxiety attacks and suicidal tendencies. Filmed during 2006-2008, against the violent backdrop of armed clashes between Hamas and Fatah factions, Israeli missile attacks and the constant overhead presence of a surveillance dirigible, the film shows Ayed training young wives and mothers in deep-breathing exercises to calm anxiety, counseling maimed Hamas and Fatah militants in meditation techniques, and leading children in group therapy sessions in which they discuss their reaction to the death of siblings and draw pictures to cope with their emotions.

Available for free in 2 parts here. The film is also available for purchase here.