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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars highly informative and unbiased documentary
"Blood and Tears: The Arab-Israeli Conflict" is an interesting and informative documentary that attempts a nearly impossible feat: to sort out the tangled mess that is the Middle East in a way that might make the whole thing just a little more comprehensible for those of us not intimately connected with the history of the region. It's an ambitious and valiant goal for a...
Published on January 1, 2008 by Roland E. Zwick

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A propaganda primer
This documentary provides a vivid primer of then-current pro-Israel propaganda points. It is a very well presented and artfully constructed and expensive "documentary." But it is largely propaganda all the same. The documentary appears to cover the ground decisively but doesn't use the word "Zionism." How is that possible when Zionism is the root cause of the whole...
Published on September 9, 2012 by dogday


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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars highly informative and unbiased documentary, January 1, 2008
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This review is from: Blood and Tears (DVD)
"Blood and Tears: The Arab-Israeli Conflict" is an interesting and informative documentary that attempts a nearly impossible feat: to sort out the tangled mess that is the Middle East in a way that might make the whole thing just a little more comprehensible for those of us not intimately connected with the history of the region. It's an ambitious and valiant goal for a movie that runs a mere 74 minutes, but, overall, it succeeds remarkably well in its endeavor.

The movie takes an essentially chronological approach to the material, beginning all the way back in Biblical times, though its main focus is on the key events of the 20th and 21st Centuries - namely, the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 and the continuing, violent struggle between the Israelis and Palestinians that has been raging over it ever since. (Note: the movie was made prior to the Lebanon-Israeli conflict of summer 2006). The film is remarkably fair in its presentation, providing, through interviews with some of the key players in the region, a generous array of viewpoints culled from various sides of the issue. In a way, this makes the movie even more depressing, for while the film is enlightening its audience on many of the facts of the situation, that enlightenment only emphasizes how truly deep-seated and intractable many of the root problems are that divide the two warring factions. For while the Palestinians and the Israelis may be speaking of some of the very same incidents and events, the antagonists often come to diametrically opposed conclusions about those events. Clearly, despite occasional halting efforts towards non-violent solutions and diplomacy, as well as a sense of optimism in the closing moments of the movie, it sadly doesn't appear as if peace will be coming any time soon to the region.

The goal of the movie is certainly not to offer a "solution" to a problem that has eluded some of the greatest peace-loving minds of the past couple of centuries. It is, instead, to provide the kind of objective information we need to better our understanding of the situation. And that the movie does very well indeed.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent review of "Blood and Tears" that appeared in Jewish Week, January 2, 2008
This review is from: Blood and Tears (DVD)
"Making a documentary film about the history of the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict that would be balanced,
thorough and entertaining appears, at first site, to be just
as monumental an undertaking as actually ending the
conflict itself. Yet acclaimed producer/director Isidore
Rosmarin and co-writer Jeff Helmreich took to the task
anyway, coming up with a remarkable piece of
documentary filmmaking aptly called "Blood and Tears."
Interviewing officials andlaypeople from both sides --
from Benjamin Netanyahu to the leaders of Hamas --
Rosmarin creates a pastiche of opinions and viewpoints,
never failing to root them in an artfully constructed
web of facts and figures. The result is awe-inspiring;
like all great pieces of documentary cinema,
this one, too, weds the real and the perceived,
the concrete and the emotional, challenging even the
most deep-set of beliefs. Particularly now, when the
situation in Israel and the Palestinian Territories is more
fragile than ever, this is a must-see." Jewish Week
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SUMMARY OF SELECT PRAISE FOR "BLOOD AND TEARS", January 2, 2008
This review is from: Blood and Tears (DVD)
SUMMARY OF SELECT PRAISE FOR "BLOOD AND TEARS"

As you may imagine, I have seen a good deal of material on the Israel-Palestine conflict and other Middle eastern matters, and I was the more impressed by the fairness and balance with which "Blood and Tears" managed to present and explain the issues, the different interests involved, and--not quite the same thing--the different points of view. I must congratulate you on a remarkable achievement, and wish you all success."

Dr. Bernard Lewis, Professor Emeritus, Near Eastern Studies Dept. Princeton University **************************************************************************

"Blood and Tears" is a powerful, must-see film for all of us concerned about the dangerous direction the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is taking. It reminds us of our common humanity and the need to pull back from the brink.

Prof. Akbar Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies, American University *************************************************************************

"Blood and Tears" is an outstanding and dramatic film that cries out to be watched by all who care about the Israeli-Arab conflict and about world peace. Its balanced presentation encourages viewers to decide for themselves after seeing all sides of a complicated and never-ending issue."

Alan Dershowitz, Professor of Law, Harvard University **************************************************************************

"Blood and Tears" proves that it is possible to present the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians fairly and with understanding for both sides. Pain and suffering is not unique to only one side, and everyone needs to see how and why this conflict evolved. This is an excellent documentary that has extraordinary value."

Ambassador Dennis Ross, Chief Mideast Negotiator, Clinton Administration
**************************************************************************

"The landscape of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is strewn with truths and semi-truths, with myths and semi-myths, with heartfelt emotions on both sides. "Blood and Tears" leads us to the unmistakable conclusion that many Israelis and many Palestinians want to tackle the problem, want to solve it on the basis of pragmatic justice. It will enhance the confidence of the advocates of peace on both sides, and so contribute to the beginnings of a real movement toward a permanent and just solution."

Muhammad Muslih, Scholar of Islamic Studies, Long Island University
**************************************************************************

"Blood and Tears" is a powerful, comprehensive and provocative documentary about the Middle East conflict. It cuts through the propaganda, the political intransigence and religious extremism--not telling the viewer what to think, but how to think."

Annette Insdorf, Professor of Film, Columbia University
**************************************************************************

"Blood and Tears" is a compelling and provocative film that elucidates the history, passions and pain that underlie the struggle between Israelis and Palestinians in the Holy Land with balance, fairness, sensitivity and accuracy."

Dr. Walter Reich, Professor of International Affairs, the George Washington University
**************************************************************************
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A propaganda primer, September 9, 2012
This review is from: Blood and Tears (DVD)
This documentary provides a vivid primer of then-current pro-Israel propaganda points. It is a very well presented and artfully constructed and expensive "documentary." But it is largely propaganda all the same. The documentary appears to cover the ground decisively but doesn't use the word "Zionism." How is that possible when Zionism is the root cause of the whole shooting match? It is practical Zionist propaganda at work.

As propaganda, I show it to others as good practice in identifying propaganda (as opposed to truth) and to help identifying the main points which seek to celebrate Israel and deride Palestinians. Properly analyzed, "Blood and Tears" might actually help de-program people like myself, that is, well-intentioned thoughtful people (Jewish and non-Jewish) who have been systematically conned by the Zionist enterprise called Israel over many decades. Almost every American has been the unknowing target of this base propaganda and charade.

One aim of the documentary is to demonstrate that the conflict is two-sided, that is, two points of view about the same thing namely the land of Palestine (at one time!) From there, the documentary aims to show the two sides as equally aggressive, armed and dangerous, and extremist with images of bulldozed Palestinian homes offset by suicide bomber damage (during that phase) in Israel. Militants are paraded on both sides and the viewer is then to choose sides. The filmmakers offer some guidance here as well.

But there is no two-sidedness to the conflict: It is entirely a creature of Israel and its Zionism. There is no coherent claim by Europeans (firstly) to the whole of the land of Palestine, not after 20 centuries of habitation by other people. Zionists, of course, know there is no coherent claim, so the "documentary" attempts to make it look like Israel and the present Jewish habitation of Palestine is a state of nature, that it pre-existed the conflict over the land and the conflict is not about the very land that Israel has appropriated. Of course, this is not true either. Israel is assumed by the documentary, set forth on the stage full-grown and extant. The assumption is not shared by critical thinkers: The assumption is the root of the conflict.

The deciding factor, as presented by "Blood and Tears", is this: The conflict is ancient and represents a "clash of civilizations," that is, so-called "values" and, by extension, if you are westerner with western values you will choose "your" civilization (Israel, that is) over the weird oriental life styles encompassing Jihad and fanaticism, including "terrorists." So the documentary contrasts "western" living styles with the ragged homes of Palestinians. In one scene, a properly dressed Western woman, a professor at a University, sits in her Western styled, well-appointed home and talks about the "clash of civilizations" represented by the conflict, as though the upstart claim of Zionists to Palestine is not the issue! Here, in her wealthy abode, in a country supported by world Jewry and US taxpayers she declaims this "clash of civilization." The scene is, my view, obscene in its duplicity. It would, indeed, be a clash of civilization if, for example, theft and dispossession were not abhorrent even in the Western civilization. But theft and dispossession are abhorrent in the West, so what is she talking about? All people want the very same things...family, a future, work, etc. It is rather here that one group wants another group's future and its patrimony and its rights. One group wants to steal nationhood and geography from another, self-determination turned criminal. This theft would create a "clash" within any civilization and between any civilizations. But not here and not now. Israel somehow is cast as a legitimate idea and its toxic claims are legitimate just like the claims of the original natives! This is the phony "parity" depicted in the documentary. But Israel's claims are bogus from the root up.

The message and assumptions are easily dispelled. First, the conflict is not ancient at all but arose entirely as a result of Zionism, the appropriation of Arab land and property by foreigners for their own purposes and this process is about one hundred years in the making, not ancient at all. Prior to Zionism, Arabs and Jews got on very well indeed, much better than similarly placed ethnic groups in European (Western) history, for example (think of Serbs and Bosnians!) Second, the conflict is not complicated (the documentary emphasizes that conflict is complex: it doesn't reveal the complexity but claims it anyhow!). "Complexity" is a characteristic claim of Zionist propaganda. If it is complex, you need to take a lot of time to think it through, talk it through, and, in that time, the Zionists will expropriate the rest of Palestine! That's why it is "complicated." It is so complicated that everyone thought about it for 20 plus years after Oslo and, in that time, Israel settled the West Bank and took more land from Palestinians. Complicated indeed! The only thing complicated is Zionist propaganda.

The truth is pretty simple: People came to Palestine with the purpose of forcibly, if necessary, taking land from natives and forcing the natives out. This process continues today in the West Bank where every aspect of Israeli administration of this conquered land is aimed at discouraging the native population from habitation and promoting its settlement by immigrants. Land continues to be expropriated through violence, threat of violence, the curious "legal" system of Israel and homes continue to be bulldozed every day by Israel. Nothing says "get out and don't return" quite as effectively as leveling your home!

"Blood and Tears" would also have you believe that there is some near parity of forces at work in the Holy Land even now, some offsetting of force, the ying and yang of conflict. Opposing the Israeli Air Force of hundreds of F-16 fighter jets is...what?...a suicide bomber at worse, rocks and stones from Palestinian youth primarily. Opposing the 3000 plus Israeli tanks are rocks and stones from Palestinians. Opposing $3 billion in US taxpayer aid (about $22 from each American taxpayer!) and the beneficence of world Jewry are handouts from rotting Arab states who never had any interest in Palestinian life or are cowed by the US.

There is NO parity whatsoever, NO ancient enmity, and NO hopeless complexity to the conflict. It is not a struggle of "civilizations" at all but a legitimate well-defined contemporary struggle against outright theft and overwhelming force by a heroic people who will simply not disappear as the Zionists would like. Don't be misled by this documentary. Do see it. Ferret out these messages. See what you think.

Anti-Zionists of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your illusions and unwitting support through silence.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best movie on the Arab Israeli conflict yet!!, January 2, 2008
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This review is from: Blood and Tears (DVD)
Blood and Tears is the best film I have seen so far covering the arab israeli conflict. Its unbiased footing gives you a real feel for what both sides are going through. The film takes you through the long history on both sides, and really makes you feel the true arguments and feelings that both have for the land of Israel.

The interviews are great featuring some of the biggest names from both sides of the conflict. The footage in the film show excellent and candid pictures of life in the conflict.

I would highly reccomend Blood and Tears to anyone who has any interest in this international conflict, looking for an unbiased, and easy to understand approach.

Even those of you who know nothing about this conflict will learn a great deal, and still be entertained when watching Blood and Tears.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars worth watching, January 2, 2008
This review is from: Blood and Tears (DVD)
this documentary does a very good job of clearly explaining a very complicated issue - interesting, comprehensive, and most importantly, it provides great perspective. As a professor, I have used it with my students as an entry point to the issue.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blood & Tears, January 29, 2008
This review is from: Blood and Tears (DVD)
Fast paced, entertaining and thoughtful, with interview pieces of many on "both sides". Not with the strong opinionated POV you usually hear/see when encountering this subject. An excellent current primer on the factors and people involved in this seemingly intractable conflict. Short on answers --but so have been the last "20 leaders" involved with this subject. Reduces conflict to human values, which itself is an advance over the polemics often heard.
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Scales of Justice tilted: A one sided, Israeli-love fest, August 12, 2010
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This review is from: Blood and Tears (DVD)
"Blood and Tears" could not water down the history of Israel and the Palestinian conflict anymore. I bought this based on the 4 star amazon reviews and was severely disappointed. This "documentary" makes very little effort providing a historical context and facts for its assertions. It spends much of its time citing hearsay and opinions from the different parties involved. Although many big names are interviewed in this "documentary", it is generally the opinions that are expressed at critical times are those that are sympathetic to Israel.

As an educator I am continuously looking for an unbiased take on the history of the conflict. This "documentary" is not suitable for the classroom. The "Search for Destiny" documentary series better chronicles the history of the struggle by including historical footage for the events from movietones and archived news reels.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Truely Unbiased Documentary., June 22, 2011
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This review is from: Blood and Tears (DVD)
Great documentary on the conflict, defanitly worth the view. There is virtually no bias at all to any side in this documentary. You get opinions from alot of important people and figures. Highly reccomend viewing this.
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Blood and Tears
Blood and Tears by Isidore Rosmarin (DVD - 2006)
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