UC Observer logo
UCObserver on SoundCloud UCObserver on YouTube UCObserver on Facebook UCObserver on Twitter UCObserver's RSS Feeds
Courtesy of Hot Docs

Budrus

Ordinary Israelis and Palestinians collaborate for peace

By Alanna Mitchell

Directed by Julia Bacha
(Just Vision)
www.justvision.org/budrus


Named after a tiny Palestinian village and the peaceful resistance movement born there, Budrus is an antidote to the stories about terrorism and death in the Middle East that we hear so often.

By turns dispassionate and fierce, awkward and profound, tense and triumphant, it makes a powerful case that the way forward is through ordinary Palestinians and Israelis banding together and eschewing violence. But perhaps that point of view isn’t surprising. Budrus was produced by Just Vision, a charity set up to tell stories of peaceful rebellion in the Middle East.

The narrative begins in 2003 when the military shows up on the outskirts of Budrus, a dusty village of 1,500 olive growers in the occupied territories of the West Bank, to build the infamous wall, also known as the “separation barrier.” The villagers realize that the path of the wall will cut them off from 300 acres of farmland, kill 3,000 olive trees and bisect the cemetery. It will also segregate the people of Budrus and five other villages from the rest of Palestine, making them prisoners in their own land. 

Enter Ayed Morrar, a self-effacing civil servant in the Palestinian government who has little faith in the political factions but immense amounts of it in his neighbours. Morrar helps organize 55 increasingly vocal but peaceful demonstrations at the bulldozers and the barrier, eventually drawing attention from peace-seeking Israeli citizens who cross the border to join the protest.

Because it is pieced together from rough, on-the-frontlines footage and low-key, professionally produced interviews, Budrus makes you feel as though you are a witness to history. We watch the story unfold, holding our breath. It’s not clear how the increasingly frustrated Israeli military will respond to the villagers.

The genius of the film is its focus on Morrar’s quiet determination and decency. One off-note is the underdeveloped subtext that victory stems from his reluctant approval to let village women join in the protests. It seems patched onto the larger elegance of the story.

More than anything, Budrus is a metaphor. If one parched village can do this, so can the whole region. 


Readers’ advisory: The discussion below is moderated by The UC Observer and facilitated by Intense Debate (ID), an online commentary system. The Observer reserves the right to edit or reject any comment it deems to be inappropriate. Approved comments may be further edited for length, clarity and accuracy, and published in the print edition of the magazine. Please note: readers do not need to sign up with ID to post their comments on ucobserver.org. We require only your user name and e-mail address. Your comments will be posted from Monday to Friday between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Join the discussion today!
Promotional Image

Editorials

David Wilson%

Observations

by David Wilson

If statues could talk

Promotional Image

Video

ObserverDocs: Stolen Mother

by Observer Staff

The daughter and adoptive mother of one of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women share their story

Promotional Image

Society

July 2017

From far and wide

by Various Writers

Meet 11 immigrants who are putting down new roots

World

June 2017

A suitcase for Cuba

by Christopher Levan

You’ll find more than giveaway toiletries and hand-me-downs in the writer's luggage. Each carefully chosen gift offers a glimpse into the lives of Cubans today.

Justice

June 2017

Undocumented

by Kristy Woudstra

Up to half a million people are living in Canada without official status. The ‘sanctuary city’ movement is growing, but the fear of deportation persists.

World

June 2017

Resisting genocide

by Sally Armstrong

In August 2014, ISIS attacked Iraq’s Yazidis, slaughtering thousands and forcing women and girls into sexual slavery. Today, the survivors are fighting for their ancient way of life.

Society

April 2017

Dear Grandkids

by Various Writers

Six acclaimed Canadian authors write letters from the heart

Society

March 2017

Called to resist

by Paul Wilson

Liberal Christians in the United States test their faith against a demagogue

Promotional Image