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Budrus: A Film That Gives Viewers Permission to Feel Something Unpopular

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Kevin Gosztola       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   16 comments

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The path of the wall in Budrus by Jillian


The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is often regarded with great pessimism. The thought that Israelis will stop building in Palestinian lands and respect the borders agreed upon in a 1967 agreement is unbelievable. The notion that Palestinians might renounce all violent resistance, which the Israelis use to stymie efforts at peace, is far-fetched.


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There will most likely be no peace unless the people who are working in cooperation on films or art projects like Budrus are able to increase their impact on the world. This documentary is a success story that shows how peace can be forged through nonviolent acts of struggle.


Produced by Just Vision, the film tells the story of the village of Budrus in Palestine, where Israel is trying to confiscate three hundred acres of village land so they can build a wall. The community pleads with the soldiers to stop the construction so their community's olive trees and land can be saved. The pleas go unanswered and the Caterpillar bulldozers continue to destroy the land in preparation for the wall.

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Community organizer Ayed Morrar decides to respond and lead a resistance movement against the construction in Budrus, but, first, tactics must be considered. Morrar understands what violence could mean for the community. He believes the community must not use violence and convinces the community to abandon traditional thinking, think strategically, and support a nonviolent resistance campaign.


The protest and resistance unfolds like any other oft-futile campaign by Palestinians until the community begins to cross boundaries. Women want to know why there are only men in the marches. The idea of women participating is pushed by Morrar's daughter to involve the women. The men let them join the march and place the women at the front of the march to deter Israeli military forces from using violence against them.


As Israeli soldiers tighten their security around the construction and become less tolerant of resistance, the village advances its strategy against the wall. The community crosses political boundaries and gets Hamas to work with Fatah. And, the community also allows Israeli activists to enter Budrus and engage in resistance against the construction

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Media propaganda and Israeli forces, as shown in the movie, are no match for the Palestinians, who are willing to put their bodies on the line and get hurt so that they can keep their land. The women inspire with their courage as they taunt soldiers defending the construction and throw themselves in front of bulldozers effectively stalling the demolition. Children participate. The Israeli activists break stereotypes the community has as they had never though an Israeli would care about Palestinian suffering. A public relations nightmare is created, which leads Israel to back off and change where they build the wall so Budrus villagers no longer challenge Israel.


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Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure." He was an editor for

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