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'Occupation 101' presents a comprehensive analysis of the facts and hidden truths surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and dispels many of its long-perceived myths and misconceptions. The film also 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. Unlike any other film produced on the conflict, 'Occupation 101' explains the complicated reality with precision storytelling through a series of highly stylized visual edits, and gives audiences a complete context with which to better understand the Israeli-Palestinian debate. The roots of the conflict are explained with thought-provoking commentaries from leading Middle East scholars, peace activists, journalists, religious leaders and humanitarian workers whose voices have too often been suppressed in American media outlets. Written by
Now *we* are not going to be cast in jail, and we aren't going be tortured, and we are not facing what people in the occupied territories are facing. And if we decide we wanna do it, fine... but then try to look yourself in the mirror and say, "I'm a murderer."
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I saw this film at the deadCENTER Film Festival in Oklahoma City where it won the Feature Documentary Award and I was able to visit with the Writer/Director, Abdullah Omeish. The clean cut well spoken young man could've come off any American college campus. Abdullah has worked on this project for years and the result is a comprehensive study of the current situation in this Middle Eastern hotbed.
'Occupation 101' explores the beginnings of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; tracing the history through today. The straightforward approach is objective and graphics are used effectively without the classroom feeling. Omeish also makes interesting use of the voluminous archival footage available. To avoid appearing bias no Palestinian Officials were interviewed with all experts being Israeli or Americans. The target audience is the United States, rather than just 'the West', since the Producer feels they are the most in need of an educational background of the conflict.
The American Christian-Jewish connection could've been fleshed-out better but one can get the idea for the unqualified support the United States gives Israel. The film is thought provoking and begs questions that don't have any easy answers. The goal of the film is educational and it has succeeded, providing needed insight into the conflict. This is an important film that hopefully will find a wider voice which very well could aid fair & balanced dealings with all involved.
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