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Winner! Panorama Audience Award
- Berlin International Film Festival
Winner! Special Jury Mention
- Tribeca Film Festival
Winner! Audience Award
- Silverdocs Film FestivalFestival
Winner! Audience Award
- San Francisco International Film Festival
Winner! Honorable Mention of the Jury
- Documenta Madrid Festival
Winner! Honorable Mention
- Jerusalem International Film Festival
Winner! Amnesty Italia Award
- Pesaro Film Festival
Winner! Founders Prize, Best of Fest
- Traverse City Film Festival
When the residents of Budrus learn that the Israeli army plans to build the Separation Barrier through their town, cutting them off from neighboring Palestinian villages and uprooting their precious olive groves, they decide to organize. Under the leadership of Ayed Morrar, Palestinian men of all political factions come together to wage an unarmed struggle to preserve their lands. Victory seems unlikely until Ayed's 15-year-old daughter steps in to organize a female contingent that brings the women of Budrus to the front lines in a tense stand-off with the military.
As word of the nonviolent protest spreads, Israeli citizens, international activists and Palestinians from other villages join the people of Budrus to demand that the Barrier be moved. Struggling side by side, father and daughter unleash an inspiring, yet little-known movement that is still gaining ground today. Featuring interviews with unarmed demonstrators, Israeli soldiers and the citizens of Budrus, this harrowing, action-filled, and ultimately inspiring documentary has given hope to audiences around the world with its story of the ground-breaking nonviolent movement spreading across the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
This year's must-see documentary. --The New York Times
A powerful film filled with the kind of hope you rarely see around this issue. --Michael Moore
This film will single-handedly change how many people view the conflict. --The Boston Globe
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In this case the subject is the title town, where the Israelis – for seemingly no good reason – have decided to erect their ‘wall of separation’ not along the natural green line border outside the enclave, but cutting right through the heart of this small rural town, dividing the cemetery, and forcing the digging up of farmland and ancient olive trees that provide many in the town with their only income. Whether ignorance, political strategy or simple cruelty on the part of the Israeli government is never really explained (a slight weak spot in the film).
But the film is detailed and insightful in tracing how the townspeople - led by soft-spoken community organizer Ayed Morrar - stand up to the mighty Israeli border army in a non-violent way, eventually earning supporters from around the world including younger liberal Israelis, who come and join in the protests, so the conflict evolves from Arab against Jew into human beings against the army and cold, indifferent bureaucracy. Perhaps in that re-alignment lies the seeds of a human solution for the larger conflict that the people of both sides can not only accept, but even embrace.
I was really impressed how the different factions had to come together to make anything really happen. It was inspiring to see Palestinian, Israeli and international activists all together in nonviolent resistance. It was inspiring to see the women of the village struggling for humanity and human rights right along side the men. I liked how they use public relations and nonviolent resistance to preserve the village boundaries and their way of life.
Budrus is in my mind very pertinent to the events we are witnessing all over the middle east and abroad. I recommend this doc to anyone who wants a "how to" guide for making peace and solidarity between people with different beliefs and backgrounds.
Although it would be justifiable to tell this story solely from a Palestinian vantage point, the filmmakers lend even more credibility to the voice of Ayed Morrar, the film's Palestinian protagonist, by respectfully and thoroughly presenting Israeli points of view throughout the film. Soldiers, captains, newscasters and politicians weigh in from the other side of the "wall-in-progress", while back in Budrus - a heroine emerges. Morrar's 15 year old daughter Iltezam is caught on camera jumping into a bulldozer's newly dug pit, to prevent the uprooting of yet another olive tree, as her voice-over describes what was going through her head: "what can one person do?" This heartbreaking, but ultimately uplifting documentary answers that impossible question, by demonstrating the power of peaceful resistance - even in the face of seemingly never ending aggression.