Resources: Films & Movies

5 Broken Cameras : An enlightening documentary sharing some serious eye-opening truths about journalism and its suppression.

Budrus : A beautiful film about nonviolent Palestinian resistance and solidarity expressions by Israeli activists, with a positive message and example to our societies. Palestinian community organizer Ayed Morrar and his daughter Iltezam unite local Fatah and Hamas members along with Israeli supporters in an unarmed movement to save their village of Budrus from destruction by Israel’s Separation Barrier. Budrus won over 20 awards internationally and was hailed by the New York Times as the “must-see documentary of the year.”

PromisesA documentary that follows the lives of Palestinian and Israeli kids, and what happens to them when they grow up in conflict.

The Gatekeepers: A documentary featuring interviews with all surviving former heads of Shin Bet, the Israeli security agency whose activities and membership are closely held state secrets.

Omar: A love story amidst the occupation and working within a system of collaboration and manipulation.

Little Town of Bethlehemares the gripping story of three men, born into violence, willing to risk everything to bring an end to violence in their lifetime. A Christian, a Muslim, and a Jew-shaped by events of their Palestinian and Israeli upbringing-find inspiration in the words and actions of Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. Sami, Ahmad, and Yonatan believe that violence can indeed be stopped but recognize their own struggles will remain. Yet they will struggle together to discover a common humanity through non-violent action. In the city of Bethlehem where it is said God became man, these men stand alongside others whose central desire is to be accepted and treated as fully human. Their story brings fresh hope to the ongoing conflict between Palestine and Israel while taking a stand against violence throughout the world.

The Wanted 18Humorous and thought-provoking, The Wanted 18 shows the power of mass mobilization and nonviolent resistance to the Israeli occupation during the First Intifada – an era too-often simplistically depicted with stone-throwing Palestinian youth facing armed soldiers. This is a poignant film about nation-building from the bottom up, by the people not the politicians.

My NeighborhoodOnly 25 minutes long, this short film tells the story of a young Palestinian boy. Mohammed El Kurd is a Palestinian boy growing up in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. His family loses half of their home to Israeli settlers leading a campaign of court-sanctioned evictions to guarantee Jewish control of the area. This Peabody Award-winning film captures voices rarely heard, of those striving for a shared future in the city.

Home FrontA series of four short films chronicling the resolve of a Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem, where families are struggling to keep their homes in the face of escalating Israeli settlement expansion. Residents are surprised when support comes from the most unexpected of places. Richard Branson called Home Front “films that make a difference.”

Encounter PointA story of everyday leaders who refuse to sit back as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict escalates. Encounter Point follows a former Israeli settler, a Palestinian ex-prisoner, a bereaved Israeli mother and a wounded Palestinian bereaved brother who risk everything to promote a future of freedom, dignity, security and peace for everyone in the region.

Israel- Charlie Rose: A discussion about the future of U.S. policy in the Middle East and the changing dynamics of Israel, with guest host Dan Senor, NYU professor Shimon Dotan, and Daniel Gordis, a professor at Shalem College in Jerusalem.

Rick Steves’ The Holy Land: Israelis and Palestinians Today: This hour-long special weaves together both the Israeli and the Palestinian narratives. In Israel, we go from the venerable ramparts of Jerusalem to the vibrant modern skyline of Tel Aviv. In Palestine, we harvest olives near Hebron, visit a home in Bethlehem, and pop into a university in Ramallah. We also learn about security walls, disputed settlements, and the persistent challenges facing the region.

Cries from Syria- HBOA harrowing exploration of the humanitarian crisis in Syria and the devastating civil war that has defined the country over the last five years.

Finding Jesus- CNN: Finding Jesus discovers fascinating new insights into the historical Jesus, utilizing the latest scientific techniques and archaeological research.

The Stones Cry Out- Voices of the Palestinian Christians: Christianity was born in Palestine two thousand years ago. From there it spread throughout the Middle East and to the rest of the world. Yet many are unaware Christians still live in the land. For more than 60 years the Palestinians, Christians and Muslims, have suffered displacement, expulsion, wars, occupation and oppression. The voices of Palestinian Christians have all too often been drowned out in the turmoil of events. This is their story, in their voices, from the Nakba of 1948 until today.

Love Your EnemiesDaoud Nassar is an Arab Palestinian Christian who lives on a small farm outside of Bethlehem. Each summer he hosts a creative arts camp for refugee children and teaches them to strive for peace in this region. Matt Carter interviews Daoud about his land, the difficulties he and his family are facing, and how his faith has characterized his life in tumultuous times.

AmreekaA drama centered on the trials and tribulations of a proud Palestinian Christian immigrant single mother and her teenage son in small town Indiana.

Denied Entry: Israel has started to deny entry to ethnic Palestinians with foreign passports. This is a film looking at this latest discriminatory policy through the eyes of a Palestinian American businessman and his young family.

Epicenter: This documentary is based on the New York Times best-selling book Epicenter by Joel C. Rosenberg. Filmed on location in the Middle East, Joel C. Rosenberg and Skip Heitzig conduct exclusive interviews with a variety of key leaders from military, government, business, and Christian ministry, as well as skeptics and critics of evangelical Christian views of the “last days.” These interviews will give a historical context and a foundation for how current events will shape our future. With growing interest in prophecy, this documentary will answer questions such as “Are we living in the last days?”

Jimmy Carter, Man from PlainsIn 2006, President Jimmy Carter tours the U.S. promoting his provocative “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.” Demme’s camera follows Carter from city to city, home to Plains (population 635), visiting a Habitat for Humanity site in New Orleans, and talking on radio and TV with Teri Gross, Charlie Rose, Diane Rehm, Jay Leno, Larry King, Wolf Blitzer, Tavis Smiley, and Al Jazeera and Israeli pundits, discussing Palestine’s plight and the policies of Israel. Critics speak as well. Between events, Carter talks about Camp David, recent travels, being married, speaking Spanish, and wisdom he learned from Rachel Clark, his nanny. A montage of speeches, awards, and travels ends the film.

Occupied MindsOccupied Minds is the story of two journalists, Jamal Dajani, a Palestinian-American and David Michaelis, an Israeli, who journey to Jerusalem, their mutual birthplace, to explore new solutions and offer unique insights into the divisive Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The film takes viewers on an emotional and intensely personal odyssey through the streets of one of the world’s most volatile regions. Among the myriad of voices Dajani and Michaelis hear from are: a wanted Palestinian gunman, an Israeli soldier breaking the silence about his service, an Israeli surgeon who lost his eyesight in a suicide bombing, an Israeli mother who lost her son in the conflict, and a Palestinian activist. As Dajani and Michaelis make their way through the many worlds that make up contemporary Israel and Palestine, they struggle to find lasting solutions to what others believe may be a never-ending conflict.

Palestinian StringsA documentary about dreams, hope and music. It is the world seen through the eyes of a Christian-Palestinian young man with a dream made of music, in a part of the world where dreams are really needed.

This is My Land…HebronHebron is the largest city in the middle of the occupied West Bank, 30 kilometers south of Jerusalem. Hebron is famous as a holy city, a place of pilgrimage for the Jews, Christians and Muslims because Abraham, the forefather of the three most important monotheistic religions, is buried there. Today Hebron is a city of violence and hate.

Disturbing the PeaceDisturbing the Peace is about people born into conflict, sworn to be enemies, who challenged their fate. The film follows everyday people who took extraordinary actions by standing for what they believe in, just like those who came before them – Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and many others whose names we don’t know. The movie challenges all of us- to understand the understand the narratives we live within,  to look at our current roles in our societies, and to decide what role we are doing to play in creating a more humane world, for all. And it all starts with our willingness to disturb the peace.