Suggested Visual Media

Compiled by Joyce Rawitscher and Skip Schiel. Most of these films can be purchased at amazon.com.

Five Broken Cameras
First-hand account of protests in Bil’in, a West Bank village affected by the Separation Wall and Israel’s military occupation. Structured around the destruction of five of Burnat’s cameras as he photographs nonviolent acts of resistance. Follows the evolution of one family over five years of turmoil. Co-directed by Palestinian farmer, Emad Burnat, and Israeli, Guy Davidi. (2011) 90 mins.

Voices Across the Divide
A Palestinian Oral History documentary. Interviews with Palestinians in the United States are woven together with historical photos and footage. Co-producers: Alice Rothchild, M.D., author, filmmaker, activist, retired OB/GYN physician and professor at Harvard Medical School, and leader of delegations of medical professionals to the West Bank, Israel and Gaza—and Sharon Mullally. (2013) 57 mins.

Roadmap To Apartheid
“A harrowing expose of Israel’s unique system of official discrimination.”—author Naomi Klein. Narrated by Pulitizer Prize-winning author, Alice Walker. A feature-length documentary and as much a historical document of the rise and fall of apartheid in South Africa as it is a film about why many Palestinians feel they are living in an apartheid system today, and why an increasing number of people around the world agree with them. By Ana Nogueira, a white South African, and Eron Davidson, a Jewish Israeli. (2012) One hour 35 mins.

The Occupation of the American Mind: Israel’s Public Relations War in the United States
Israel’s ongoing military occupation of Palestinian territory and repeated invasions of Gaza have triggered a fierce backlash against Israeli policies virtually everywhere in the world—except in the United States. This film takes an eye-opening look at this critical exception, zeroing in on pro-Israel public relations efforts within the U.S. Narrated by Roger Waters and featuring leading observers of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and U.S. media culture, the film explores how the Israeli and U.S. governments, and the pro-Israel lobby (including AIPAC) have joined forces– often with very different motives– shape American media coverage of the conflict in Israel’s favor. The film provides a sweeping analysis of Israel’s decades-long battle for the hearts, minds, and tax dollars of the American people in the face of widening international condemnation of its increasingly right-wing policies. Media and the Middle East.
(2016) 82 mins.

Where Should the Birds Fly?
A dramatic documentary that chronicles the Israeli attack on Gaza in December 2009 and January 2010. Israel called it Operation Cast Lead. Palestinians called it a massacre. The Goldstone Report called it an illegal and illegitimate use of force against a civilian population. The 22-day attack left approximately 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis dead. Gaza has been under an Israeli blockade and siege since 2007. Filmed by Fida Qishta, a journalist from Gaza. (2013) 58 mins.

Life in Occupied Palestine
Anna Baltzer, a Jewish-American, speaks the truth about her experience in militarily occupied Palestine. Stories and photographs. An excellent introduction to the Israel/Palestine conflict. (2008) 60 mins.

The Iron Wall
By documentary filmmaker, Mohammed Alatar, covers the impact of the Israeli settlements in the Palestinian Occupied Territories on a two-state solution, on Palestinian life, and on the prospects for peace. The title comes from right-wing, Zionist Revisionist leader, Vladamir (Zev) Jabotinsky’s theory of the need to create an “iron wall” between Arabs and Jews. Produced by Palestinian Agriculture Relief Committees (PARC). (2006) 52 mins.

My Neighborhood: Portraits from Sheikh Jarrah
A short film series chronicling the human impact of Israeli expansion in East Jerusalem and non-violent efforts to prevent the displacement of Palestinian families. Interviews with a Palestinian teen-ager and a community organizer, an American-born Israeli mother and a former Israeli soldier. (2012) 25 mins.. “Budrus” is an Israeli/Palestinian/American documentary about nonviolent demonstrations conducted by the residents of Budrus, a Palestinian town in the West Bank. The film examines the town’s reaction to Israel’s construction of the Separation Wall. It tells the story of Ayed Morrar, a Palestinian whose work for Fatah had led to five detentions in Israeli jails, but whose momentous, strategic decision that the Wall would be best opposed by nonviolent resistance had far-reaching ramifications. (2009) 82 mins.

Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land
Provides a striking comparison of U.S. and international media coverage of the Israel/Palestine conflict, zeroing in on how structural distortion in U.S. coverage have reinforced false perceptions of the conflict. It analyzes and explains how—through the use of language, framing and context–the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza remains hidden in the news media. The film argues that the influence of pro-Israel media watchdog groups, such as CAMERA and Honest Reporting, has led to distorted and pro-Israel media reports. Features Noam Chomsky, Robert Jensen, Hanan Ashrawi, Sam Husseini and Robert Fisk, among others.
(2004) 80 mins

The Gatekeepers
A documentary film by Drector Dror Moreh that tells the story of the Israeli internal security service, Shin Bet, from the perspective of six of its former heads. Combines in-depth interviews, archival footage and computer animation to recount the role that the group played in Israel’s security after the Six-Day War in 1967. (2012) 101 mins.

One Family in Gaza
In the words of Director, Jen Marlowe, “Palestinians in Gaza are depicted either as violent terrorists or as helpless victims.” The Awajah family challenges both portrayals. Through one family’s story (the assassination of their son during Israel’s 2010 assault on Gaza), the larger tragedy of Gaza is exposed, and the courage and resilience of the people shine through.
(2010) 23 mins.

Occupation 101: Voice of the Silenced Majority
A thought-provoking and powerful documentary on the historical, root causes of the Israel/Palestine conflict and U.S. political involvement. Focuses on the effects of the Israeli military occupation on the West Bank and Gaza and discusses events from the rise of Zionism to the Second Intifada and Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan. Presents its perspective through dozens of interviews, questions the nature of Israel and U.S. relations and the ethics of U.S. monetary involvement. (2006) 1 hour 30 mins.

Palestine for Beginners
The Palestine Information Project presents this film, a fast-moving guide to the roots of the Israel/Palestine conflict, key historical events and the characters and motivations behind the events. Filmed before a live audience and professionally edited, it includes an additional ten minutes of Q & A. Directed and produced by Edward Mast and Linda Bevis. (2007) 72 mins.

To See If I’m Smiling
A documentary of women who served in the Israeli Defense Forces in the Occupied Territories and how their experiences influenced their lives. Powerfully exposes the way that gender, ethics, power and morality intersect. Written, directed and produced by Tamar Yarom, who studied film at the London Film School and psychology at Hebrew University. (2007) 59 mins.

Eyewitness Gaza
Shows Skip Schiel, member of Friends Meeting at Cambridge, photographing in Gaza. “Though unquestionably didactic, Skip Schiel’s images are also haunting glimpses of the perilous nature of life in Gaza. The photographs never feel invasive or forced; they simply capture moments of intimate truth between photographer and subject.” (Sarah Correia, The Arts Fuse) Directed by Tom Jackson of Joe Public Films (2011) 50 mins.

Jews Step Forward
Jews demand an awakening, a Judaism liberated from Zionism. The movie plays two principle themes against and with each other: traditional Jewish theology and practice of tikkum olam {heal the world), with many examples, against current Israeli policies. Plus conventional Jewish upbringing with evolution of attitudes about Israel, using interviews with American Jews. By Marjorie Wright & Elika Rezaee (2016) 112 mins. Preview

Seeing Through the Wall follows a group of Americans [mainly Jews] who traveled to Israel and Palestine in 2016 seeking to understand what life is like for Palestinians living in the Occupied Territories and in East Jerusalem. The journey became an intense encounter not only with the people they met, but also with their own preconceptions, an experience that for many of the travelers was transformative. (2016) 60 minutes. Preview

In Between/Bar Bahar is a “bittersweet debut feature from Maysaloun Hamoud is a spiky treat, an empowering tale of three Palestinian women living in Tel Aviv, each fighting their own battles for independence and fulfillment. Balancing tragicomic relationship blues with sharp sociopolitical observation, Hamoud’s slyly subversive drama draws us deep into an often hidden world. As the title suggests, these women occupy a liminal space, caught between freedom and repression, religion and secularism, the past and the future. Theirs is a world in flux, in which the drugs and partying of the underground scene stand in stark contrast to the strict hypocrisies that dominate the cultural landscape. As one of them tells her devout father: “Some people live in palaces, but God knows what their life is like inside…’” (The Guardian) 1 hour-43 minutes  Preview

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