Palestinian Territories/Israel, 2009, 82 minutes
Sun, May 02 / 2:00 / PFA / BUDR02P
Mon, May 03 / 9:15 / Kabuki / BUDR03K
Wed, May 05 / 3:45 / Clay / BUDR05Y
Ayed Morrar joined Fatah as a youth, and was jailed for the first of five times in 1981 at the age of 19. By the start of this gripping documentary, he has become the leader of a truly popular nonviolent movement in Budrus, a West Bank village with a population of 1,500. Morrar organizes villagers to prevent construction of an Israeli “security wall” that would run through Palestinian territory, encircling Budrus and cutting off villagers’ access to their own land. Director Julia Bacha chronicles a movement that starts with men running to their fields at midnight to block bulldozers from destroying their olive trees, and blossoms into a wider campaign, incorporating a group of young women led by Morrar’s daughter Iltezam. Soon the village’s plight is making international headlines, uniting not only members of Fatah and Hamas under the banner of nonviolence but bringing together Palestinians and Israelis. Bacha’s camera stands among the protesters and soldiers, daringly capturing footage as rubber bullets, tear gas and, eventually, live ammunition fly from IDF troops in attempts to disperse crowds or incite them to violence. Interviews with villagers, activists and soldiers provide diverging points of view on the turbulent events. The documentary movingly extends Bacha’s abiding concern with the process of reconciliation, picking up where her recent Encounter Point (SFIFF 2006) left off. As Israelis and Palestinians stand together in front of Israeli soldiers and bulldozers, the possibility of living together peacefully becomes vividly imaginable.
In Arabic, Hebrew and English with English subtitles. Still courtesy of Just Vision; photo of Julia Bacha by Tobias Seeliger.