Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Synopsis from the film's website:
A Palestinian leader unites Fatah, Hamas and Israelis in an unarmed movement to save his village from destruction. Success eludes them until his 15-year-old daughter jumps into the fray.
Ayed Morrar, an unlikely Palestinian community organizer, unites all Palestinian political factions and Israelis. Together, they wage a lengthy lunch-counter-sit-in-style unarmed struggle to save his village from destruction by Israel’s Separation Barrier. Victory seems improbable until his 15-year-old daughter, Iltezam, launches a women’s contingent that quickly moves to the front lines. They not only save the village, but the Barrier is pushed back behind the Green Line into No Man’s Land. In the process, Ayed and Iltezam unleash an inspiring, yet little-known, movement in the Occupied Palestinian Territories that is still gaining ground today. In an action-filled documentary featuring archival footage of this movement from its infancy, Budrus will inspire and challenge audiences worldwide. The movie is directed by award-winning filmmaker Julia Bacha (Control Room, 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 all Palestinian factions, including Fatah and Hamas; he brought women to the heart of the struggle through the leadership of his daughter, Iltezam; and he encouraged hundreds of Israelis to cross into Palestinian territory for the first time and join a nonviolent movement.
Budrus includes diverse voices from the leaders of the movement to the Israeli border police officers 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. The protagonists not only succeeded in moving the separation barrier completely off Palestinian lands, they also build lasting relationships between Fatah, Hamas and Israeli activists that continue to this day and serve as a model to other communities. The story of Budrus represents what could happen in the region — provided people know about it.