America Undercover

Persona Non Grata (5 Jun. 2003)

TV Episode  -   -  Documentary
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Title: Persona Non Grata (05 Jun 2003)

Persona Non Grata (05 Jun 2003) on IMDb 6.5/10

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Episode credited cast:
Yasser Arafat ...
Ehud Barak ...
Benjamin Netanyahu ...
Shimon Peres ...
Jasan Yosef ...


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Oliver Stone Presents The Uncomfortable Truth
23 November 2004 | by (Stockholm, Sweden) – See all my reviews

Persona Non Grata [Pur'sownu'nân'gratu] An unwelcome person. [n] a person who for some reason is not wanted or welcome. [n] a diplomat who is unacceptable to the government to which he is sent.

Oliver Stone (Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July, JFK and recently Commandante) and his team take you to Israel and Palestine. The conflict seems to have no end except in a near distant future where the winner stand alone and the losers falls together. As visually moving as with any other Stone movie and With impressing cutting-techniques of a flow of images paralleling the interviewees' dialogs which provides a very interesting summary of the Israel/Palestinian conflict through the leading persons' stories on both sides. All this backed up with an esoteric soundtrack. He puts lots of weight on the Israel leaders' stories and the hunt for an interview with Yasser Arafat is portrayed. He also tries to balance interviews with civilians on the street from both sides along with a very intimate meeting with masked "freedom fighters", mostly young people with a normal life. It's clear that the conflict is about two people who are "sick & tired" and desperately show their powerlessness.

I found this documentary, or reportage, very interesting yet uncomfortable for the elite. I was surprised that so many were willing to express themselves even the most uncomfortable questions pressed by Stone. It felt like I was watching a news coverage on CNN with a heavy influence from the MTV cutting. Even though the camera is constantly unstable and seems heavy, some might find it annoying, but the person or situation in question makes it easy to ignore the fast cutting of images and sound. It's indeed very creative and 'Stoneish'. I say again very interesting and informative, but not so fair and balanced than I hoped, could have interviewed some more Israel civilians or their army and the settlers.

I saw it on the Stockholm Film Festival yet without subtitles, some people complained but I didn't find it that problematic, but it was one of few flaws. Except that I say to you if you are interested to see this:

Turn off "Survivor" and "Idol" and get educated. This is such a film.

I give it an 8 out of 10

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