Budrus

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$24.95

It takes a village to unite the most divided people on earth.

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It takes a village to unite the most divided people on earth.

Budrus is an award-winning feature documentary film about a Palestinian community organizer, Ayed Morrar, who unites local Fatah and Hamas members along with Israeli supporters in an unarmed movement to save his village of Budrus from destruction by Israel’s Separation Barrier. Success eludes them until his 15-year-old daughter, Iltezam, launches a women’s contingent that quickly moves to the front lines. Struggling side by side, father and daughter unleash an inspiring, yet little-known, movement in the Occupied Palestinian Territories that is still gaining ground today. In an action-filled documentary chronicling this movement from its infancy, Budrus shines a light on people who choose nonviolence to confront a threat.  The movie is directed by award-winning filmmaker Julia Bacha (co-writer and editor of Control Room and co-director Encounter Point), and produced by Bacha, Palestinian journalist Rula Salameh, and filmmaker and human rights advocate Ronit Avni (formerly of WITNESS, Director of Encounter Point).

While this film is about one Palestinian village, it tells a much bigger story about what is possible in the Middle East. Ayed succeeded in doing what many people believe to be impossible: he united feuding Palestinian political groups, including Fatah and Hamas; he brought women to the heart of the struggle by encouraging his daughter Iltezam’s leadership; and welcoming hundreds of Israelis to cross into Palestinian territory for the first time and join this nonviolent effort. Many of the activists who joined the villagers of Budrus are now continuing to support nonviolence efforts in villages from Bil’in to Nabi Saleh to Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem.

Budrus includes diverse voices– from the Palestinian leaders of the movement and their Israeli allies to an Israeli military spokesman, Doron Spielman, and Yasmine Levy, the Israeli border police captain stationed in the village at that time. While many documentaries about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict either romanticize the notion of peace, or dwell entirely on the suffering of victims to the conflict, this film focuses on the success of a Palestinian-led nonviolent movement.

In a keynote address immediately following the world premiere of Budrus at a Gala screening at the Dubai International Film Festival in December 2009, Her Majesty Queen Noor Al Hussein of Jordan praised the film, stating that Budrus: “Gives an enormous amount of hope… It’s a story which will have an impact and can help bring [about]change.”


Reviews

Budrus: A Study in Middle East Nonviolence
Mike Hale, New York Times, October 7, 2010
American audiences watching the documentary “Budrus,” about a pioneering effort in nonviolent protest by Palestinians in the West Bank, will find many of the images familiar. The marching, the chanting, the nerve-racking encounters between protesters and jumpy, heavily armed young policemen and soldiers: it’s “Eyes on the Prize” with olive trees.
The writer and director Julia Bacha has fashioned an engrossing and sometimes inspiring account of the confrontations that took place in the village of Budrus in 2003 and 2004 over the building of the Israeli security fence…
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Film releases
Nigel Andrews, Financial Times, 29 September 2010
If you want a real film about women changing history, try the documentary Budrus (4 star rating). The wives and daughters of a West Bank village take their place in the front line of the peaceful demonstrations staged daily against Israeli bulldozers. The machines are razing their olive orchards to build the partition wall.
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Movie review: ‘Budrus’
Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times, October 22 2010
Budrus is a tiny village where something potentially very big happened, the setting for a hopeful story in an area of the world that has produced hardly any hope at all in recent years.  As introduced in the surprisingly heartening documentary of the same name, Budrus is a small agricultural settlement in the West Bank, definitely not the kind of place you’d expect a popular movement encouraging nonviolent resistance to take root and grow. But that, as this Julia Bacha-directed film shows, is what took place.

 

Chris Graham is the publisher and editor of New Matilda. He is the former founding managing editor of the National Indigenous Times and Tracker magazine. Chris has won a Walkley Award, a Walkley High Commendation and two Human Rights Awards for his reporting.

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