September 27, 2011 - 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Budrus (2009)  (70 min)

This thought-provoking piece from documentary-maker Julia Bacha is about the village of Budrus, on the Palestinian West Bank. It found itself in a frightening territorial stranglehold when the Israeli government began to build its anti-terrorist “barrier” wall in 2003 to guard against suicide-bomber incursions. The villagers’ livelihood depended utterly on the olive trees which were brutally uprooted by the army bulldozers to make way for the wall, whose route snaked around in such a way as to cut off communities from each other and make their living all but impossible. Former Fatah activist Ayed Morrar organises an avowedly non-violent resistance with the help of sympathetic Israeli liberals and international observer-activists. The “non-violence” of course comes under strain when the IDF’s irresistible force comes into contact with the protesters’ immovable object. What is so arresting about Bacha’s film is that it shows something about the Israeli wall; it doesn’t just simply separate the Israelis from the Palestinians, but wanders on to the Palestinian territory, meandering and looping around: the idea is not merely to stop movement into Israel but covertly to impose paralysis within the Palestinian zone itself. Eventually, the Israeli government backs down and settles for a simple partition line that “frees” Budrus. Bacha leaves it to us to decide if this is a great victory for the Palestinians or a cunning way of getting them to accept the wall in principle. This involving film is an eye-opener. -The Guardian UK

“This year’s must-see documentary”. -The New York Times

Free to the Public. Sponsored by Working for a Just Peace in Palestine & Israel, a committee of the Syracuse Peace Council.