The first film of its kind to offer a comprehensive view of the Jewish settlers in the occupied territories of the West Bank. An historical overview, a geopolitical study and an intimate look at those people at the core of the most daunting challenges facing Israel and the international community today as the Palestinians and Israelis resume talks again.
Seen at Sundance screening; thought-provoking. No spoilers here unless you don't know what settlers are and don't wish to find out until you see the film...
The movie ran long: over two hours, and maybe closer to three than two. I'm not sure, though. I was immersed. The filmography was beautiful and immersive. The interviews, despite being entirely presented in subtitles for we English speakers/readers, were compelling, as was the story the director was telling. The film is partly historical storytelling and partly political analysis. It asks questions rather than attempts to offer any solutions, as the director said in a Q&A afterward. It depicts the birth of what you might call the modern Zionist movement, at least as it expresses itself in the outpost settlements in occupied territory outside of sovereign Israel. The interviews are with people placed high and low in the settlement communities and in universities in Israel, and they present a stark and worrying portrait: Israeli settlers, though a minority of the Israeli population, are a destabilizing force that has run unchecked because of politicians' fears of facing up to their ardent beliefs as espoused by devoted followers. The moderates of the country are mute in the film, and they can't be much louder in reality, given the extent to which the settlers have been permitted by their government to run roughshod over laws that the country itself, let alone international agreements, have set in place. The film worried me, and the picture of a new Apartheid it presented is vivid.
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