The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Explored in the Documentary, Budrus, by Julia Bachas

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Explored in the Documentary, Budrus, by Julia Bachas

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The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the most well known and least understood conflicts in modern times. In order to cast light on this ever-evolving situation, Julia Bachas investigates the conflict and the power of nonviolent resistance, through her documentary Budrus. By examining the way a small group of Palestinians was able to protest and ultimately prevent the installation of a security fence through the occupied territories, we are given a progressive, positive model for future resistance.
While designed to illicit both greater knowledge of, and sympathy for, the plight of the Palestinians in Budrus, the film is not at all one-sided. Julia Bachas largely lays the allocation of "right and wrong" to the audience, allowing the story to unfold organically and with a commendable lack of bias. While there is a clear desire to present the Palestinian view of the conflict concerning the Security Fence, Bachas portrays characters in both sides. It is neither panegyric nor insulting, yet still has much to say. Through the eyes and mouths of the characters in Budrus we are able to gleam insight into the conflict and its devastating effect upon all who are involved.
The main themes of the film involve the building of a nonviolent resistance movement, the unity of Palestinian resistance movements, the involvement of Israeli activists in support of the movement, and the Israeli Army seeking to facilitate the building of the Security Fence. Also key to the film is the role of women in the movement, and by extension the Arab world, and the efficacy of building a bottom-up, grassroots movement for resistance and ultimately peace.
Budras opens with a description of the small agricultural community of the same name. The ...

... middle of paper ... Consequently, this is both a positive and a negative; for an ember can always reignite the flame yet can as easily be extinguished. As displayed by the escalating violence in Bil’in during the years since Budrus, the question of whether the movement has had a long-term effect must be raised. Yet, it also shows that the commitment to nonviolent resistance has found a home in Palestine. For despite mounting violence on the part of the Israelis, and certainly response in kind by the Palestinians, the overwhelming majority continues to steer along Ayer’s path. While change like this may take years, decades even, it always begins with action and can only continue through the refusal to compromise your efforts or ideals. Budrus presented a template for success that, if allowed, just might begin to heal the wounds of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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