UPDATED Films about Israel and Palestine

The views expressed in the following content does not necessarily reflect the position of Solutions Not Sides nor its affiliates. 

Available to watch online

‘Budrus: It Takes a Village to Unite the Most Divided People on Earth’ (2010) Julia Bacha

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Budrus is a documentary film about a Palestinian community organizer, Ayed Morrar, who unites local Fatah and Hamas members along with Israeli supporters in an unarmed movement to save his village of Budrus from destruction by Israel’s Separation Barrier. It offers a very good insight into Israeli & Palestinian non-violent activism.

Available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q13VGaiHyxk

‘Disturbing the Peace’ (2016) Stephen Apkon & Andrew Young  

A group of former enemy combatants embarks on a transformational journey from soldiers to non-violent peace activists.

Available on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/gb/title/80134807

‘Unsettled’ (2007) Adam Hootnik

The documentary follows the Israeli government decision to withdraw from the Gaza Strip. The choice impacts all who live in the embattled region, and it earns a variety of reactions. Some people support the decision, while others are staunchly opposed.

Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SB42YjUNCZU

‘Kippur’ (2000) Amo Gitai

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Kippur is based on the true story of the Yom Kippur War, as told by the personal account of Israeli army reservists. The sudden defeats and considerable loss of life that occurred at the beginning of the conflict handed down a terrible psychological blow to Israelis, and the emotional impact on the individual Israeli soldiers is expanded upon in the film.

Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuFvmED48-Q

‘Dreams Deferred: The Struggle for Peace and Justice in Israel and Palestine’ (2011) Jennifer Hitchcock

This documentary highlights the voices, opinions, and actions of Israelis and Palestinians who are struggling to nonviolently end the Israeli occupation and achieve a just resolution to the conflict. The filmmakers accompany Israeli activists to a demonstration against the separation barrier in Bil'in, take a tour of Hebron with a Palestinian human rights activist, document their experience during an extended military curfew in Jayyous, and follow Israeli activists around settlements and new construction in East Jerusalem.

Available at: https://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/dreams-deferred-the-struggle-for-peace-and-justice-in-israel-and-palestine-2011/

‘The Distortion & Death Behind Israel/Palestine’ (2015) Abby Martin

Abby Martin takes a look at how the so-called "Israel-Palestine conflict" has been covered by the mainstream press during the last crisis in the region, and the variety of tactics employed by the state of Israel to control the narrative: from it's Hasbara propaganda machine, to outright killing of journalists. 

Available at: https://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/the-distortion-and-death-behind-israelpalestine-coverage/

‘This is Palestine’ (2017) John McColgan

This documentary features powerful interviews with people who have lost their home, land and family members as a result of the conflict. As well as meeting communities under threat, McColgan also spent time with Israeli and Palestinian peace activists working to bring this long-standing conflict to an end.

Available at: https://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/this-is-palestine/

‘Chronicle of a Disappearance’ (1996) Elia Suleiman

A Palestinian expatriate filmmaker documents the loss of national identity in Israel's Arab population. Suleiman plays himself returning to Israel and the West Bank after a long absence which is followed by a series of barely connected vignettes and sketches, which are intended to convey the feelings of restlessness and uncertainty from Palestinian statelessness

Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-sv8-hxZlY

‘The Time that Remains’ (2009) Elia Suleiman

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This film gives a comedic account of the creation of the Israeli state from 1948 to the present, focusing on the director’s hometown of Nazareth.

Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMRXxjLNs1Q

‘Omar’ (2013) Hany Abu-Assad

Omar is a Palestinian baker who frequently climbs the West Bank barrier to visit his lover Nadia, a high-school girl whom he intends to marry. After being beaten and humiliated by a group of Israeli soldiers, Omar and his childhood friends stage an attack on an Israeli checkpoint. Facing a lengthy prison term, Omar is forcibly coerced by an Israeli agent into working as a double agent for the Israeli authorities.

Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nhn_rb4zkzo

‘Open Bethlehem’ (2015) Leila Sansour

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Director Leila Sansour returns to Bethlehem to make a film about her hometown, soon to be encircled by a wall. Armed with her camera and a dilapidated family car that keeps breaking down, Leila plans to make an epic film about a legendary town in crisis. Just few months into filming her life and the film take an unexpected turn when cousin Carol, Leila’s last relative in town, persuades her to stay to start a campaign to save the city.

Available on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/openbethlehem

The Birth of Israel’ (2008) Jeremy Bowen

Documentary examining the events leading up to the Israeli war of Independence in 1948, its continuing impact on Arab/Israeli relations and the implications for the Middle East peace process.

Available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kzyADnoapM

‘Palestine Is Still the Issue’ (2002) John Pilger

A series of extraordinary interviews with both Palestinians and Israelis.

Available on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/17401477

‘The Price of Kings: Shimon Peres’ (2012) Directed by Joanna Natasegara & Richard Symons

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Through exclusive interviews and archive footage, 'The Price of Kings' takes an in-depth look into the lengthy yet controversial political life of the former President of Israel, Shimon Peres.

Available at: http://ukjewishfilm.org/film/the-price-of-kings-shimon-peres/

‘The Ultra Zionists’ (2011) Andy Wells

Louis Theroux investigates ultra-nationalist Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem, Hebron and Nablus. The documentary also follows Theroux as he tours the Muslim quarter of Jerusalem with Daniel Luria of the Ateret Cohanim Zionist Movement.

Available on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/102569427

‘Israel Vs Israel’ (2010) Terje Carlsson

One grandmother, one rabbi, one anarchist and one ex-soldier – four Israelis trying to put an end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories. The documentary Israel vs Israel is a film about Jewish peace activists who in both words and actions take a stand again 40 years of occupation and illegal settlements.

Available at: https://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/israel-vs-israel-2010/

‘The Israeli Lobby’ (2007)  AIPAC

A documentary that analyses American policy towards Israel and Palestine.

Available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N294FMDok98

“Esc & Ctrl” episodes 1, 3 and 10 (2013) Jon Ronson

Esc & Ctrl is an online series of short documentary films where journalist and filmmaker Jon Ronson explores some aspects of screen culture and the Internet. What is revealed is the technique of ‘astroturfing’—the name given to fake grassroots campaigns posing as genuine stories—as a powerful technique used by the powerful in the corporate sphere of ‘social media’ websites to continue to disseminate propaganda with a new twist at attempted authenticity.

Available at: https://thoughtmaybe.com/esc-ctrl/

 ‘Jenin, Jenin’ (2002) Mohammed Bakri

The documentary portrays "the Palestinian truth" about the "Battle of Jenin", a clash between the Israeli army and Palestinians in April 2002 which drew Palestinian accounts of the "Battle of Jenin". The film consists of interviews with the inhabitants of Jenin edited by the producer.

Available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_HTviLtynM 

‘The Road to Jenin’ (2003) Pierre Rehov

'The Road to Jenin' was produced to counter the Palestinian narrative in relation to the Battle of Jenin, a clash between the Israeli army and Palestinian militants in April 2002 which drew Palestinian accounts of a "Jenin Massacre". This film was also a response to Mohammed Bakri's film entitled Jenin, Jenin.

Available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knYH5oiy3C0

Not available online

‘A Borrowed Identity’ (2014) Eran Riklis

A Palestinian-Israeli boy named Eyad is sent to a prestigious boarding school in Jerusalem, where he struggles with issues of language, culture, and identity.             

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TW0Jjf3RrME

‘A Bottle in the Gaza Sea’ (2011) Thierry Binisti

Tal is 17 years old. Naim is 20. She's Israeli. He's Palestinian. She lives in Jerusalem. He lives in Gaza. A bottle thrown in the sea and a correspondence by email nurture the slender hope that their relationship might give them the strength to confront the harsh of the conflict.                

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mL8p6FKCPzQ

‘A Trip Along Exodus’ (2015) Hind Shoufani

Documentary exploring the last 70 years of Palestinian politics seen through the prism of the life of the filmmaker’s father, Dr. Elias Shoufani, a leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation and an academic and leftist intellectual who was one of the leaders of the opposition to Arafat within Fatah for 20 years.

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/112111458  

‘Ajami’ (2009) Scandar Copti and Yaron Shani

Arabs, Palestinians, Jews, and Christians try to live together in an area where Omar, an Arab Israeli tries to save his family from a gang of extortionists through whatever means necessary but violence is often met with violence in this story about love, hatred, and personal freedom.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y6ExnSrggc

‘Beaufort’ (2007) Joseph Cedar

The film is about an IDF unit stationed at the isolated mountaintop Beaufort post in Southern Lebanon during the South Lebanon conflict, and their commander, Liraz Librati. It chronicles the daily routine of a group of soldiers positioned at the 12th century Crusader stronghold of Beaufort Castle, their feelings and their fears, and explores their moral dilemmas in the days preceding the withdrawal and end of the 18-year South Lebanon conflict.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X45LBsTKG0U

‘Dancing in Jaffa’ (2013) Hilla Medalia

Renowned ball-room dancer Pierre Dulaine takes his program, Dancing Classrooms, back to his city of birth, Jaffa, to teach Jewish and Palestinian Israelis to dance and compete together.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEok-5KlAXY

‘Disengagement’ (2008) Amos Gitai

A political drama centered around Israel’s pullout from the occupied Gaza strip, in which a French woman of Israeli origin comes to the Gaza Strip to find her long ago abandoned daughter.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQbt2F6BZdw

‘Elusive Peace: Israel and the Arabs’ (2005) Norman Percy

Warning: Contains graphic images. A three part documentary series examines the last years of the Arab-Israeli peace process from the point of view of presidents and prime ministers, their generals and ministers and those behind the suicide bombs and assassinations. The series reveals what happened behind closed doors as the peace process failed and the violence of the intifada exploded.

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/30557021

‘Forever Pure - Football and Racism in Jerusalem’ (2016) Maya Zinshtein

Documentary which follows events at Israel's most notorious football club. Beitar Jerusalem FC is the most popular team in Israel and the only club in the Premier League never to sign an Arab player. Midway through a season the club's owner, Russian-Israeli oligarch Arcadi Gaydamak, brought in two Muslim players from Chechnya in a secretive transfer deal that triggered the most racist campaign in Israeli sport and sent the club spiraling out of control.

Trailer: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b084xppx

‘Forty Shades of Grey’ (2012) Nicky Larkin

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The documentary is an experimental, feature-length, non-narrative film piece, shot on location in Israel and the Palestinian territories. Some very black and white ideas exist, particularly in Europe, when people think of this notorious hot-spot. However this project aims to explore the forty shades of grey in between the black and the white we are presented with in our news media. 

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roKGlgSAsR8

‘Foxtrot’ (2017) Samuel Maoz

A knock on the door leads to unfathomable grief as a man and his wife learn that their son died in the line of duty as a soldier.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrBEDEmUceM

‘In Between’ (2016) Maysaloun Hamoud

Three Arab-Israeli women share an apartment in Tel Aviv and try to balance their traditions with the modern world. 

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPiVZj8Mm7o

Impact of Terror’ (2004) Tim Wolochatiuk

Documentary about Israeli victims of terror struggling to cope in the aftermath of the Aug. 9, 2001 Sbarro pizzeria bombing in Jerusalem. It effectively maps out the victims’ scars –both physical and emotional – and humanizes the personal struggles of individuals who are often unnamed in news reports and relegated to casualty counts. 

Trailer: http://www.apltd.ca/films/display/18

JAFFA: The Orange’s Clockwork’ (2009) Eyal Sivan

Jaffa, the orange’s clockwork narrates the visual history of the famous citrus fruit originated from Palestine and known worldwide for centuries as "Jaffa oranges". The history of the orange is the history of the land.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJH5-6CIrrk

‘Junction 48’ (2016) Udi Aloni

Two young Palestinian hip-hop artists fall in love and use their music to regain normalcy in a crime-ridden, conservative society.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_9SF_zYkQk

‘Kedma’ (2002) Amos Gitai

The film follows the fate of a group of refugees from the Holocaust who are illegally brought to Israel by the Palmach. The film centers on two long monologues, one by an Arab peasant who pledges to oppose the Jews forever; and one by an emotionally demolished refugee who laments the seemingly endless suffering of his people.

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/44265

‘Lemon Tree’ (2008) Eran Riklis

The story of a Palestinian widow who must defend her lemon-tree field when a new Israeli Defense Minister moves next to her and threatens to have her lemon grove torn down.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_j1llK3Fco                                

‘Naila and the Uprising’ (2017) Julia Bacha

When a nation-wide uprising breaks out in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, a young woman in Gaza must make a choice between love, family, and freedom. Undaunted, she embraces all three, joining a clandestine network of women in a movement that forces the world to recognize the Palestinian right to self-determination for the first time. 

Trailer: https://www.justvision.org/nailaandtheuprising

‘Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land’ (2004) Sut Jhally & Bathsheba Ratzkoff

A striking comparison of U.S. and international media coverage of the crisis in the Middle East.

Trailer: http://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/peace_propaganda_and_the_promised_land/?trail er=true  

‘Promises’ (2001) B.Z. Goldberg, Justine Shapir & Carlos Bolado

Several Jewish and Palestinian children are followed for three years and put in touch with each other, in this alternative look at the Jewish-Palestinian conflict.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ryzl0CE5fc

‘The Attack’ (2012) Ziad Doueiri

An award-winning Palestinian surgeon is shocked to discover that his wife was the terrorist responsible for a suicide bombing that killed 17 people.

Trailer: https://en.unifrance.org/movie/33966/the-attack

'The Gatekeepers’ (2013) Dror Moreh

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For the first time ever, six former heads of the Shin Bet, Israel’s secret service agency, agree to share their insights and reflect publicly on their actions and decisions. Intimately interviewed, they shed light on the controversy surrounding the Occupation in the aftermath of the Six Day War.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1kCZmkglYs

‘The Law in these Parts’ (2012) Ra-Anan Alexandrowicz

This documentary narrates the history of Israel's military legal system in the Occupied Palestinian Territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Trailer: https://www.thelawfilm.com/eng

‘The Idol’ (2015) Hany Abu-Assad

A film about the popular Palestinian singer Mohammad Assaf, from childhood to adulthood, and his life in Gaza until he won the Arab idol.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mP3IwALna08

‘This Is My land’ (2012) Tamara Erde

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How do the Palestinian and Israeli (Jewish and Arab) education systems teach the history of their nations? The documentary follows several Israeli and Palestinian teachers during a school year and the way they teach their national history.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbuKMKleUME

‘The Settlers’ (2016) Shimon Dotan

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A look at Jewish settlers in the West Bank and their allies - Jewish and non-Jewish alike - in Israel, America and Europe. The origins of the settler phenomenon, which reach back almost half a century, are explored along with a look at who the settlers are today and how they impact the Middle East.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_DcORiP1jo

‘Speed Sisters’ (2017) Amber Fares

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Checkpoints set up by the Israeli military and social expectations don't stop members of the Middle East's first all-women racing team as they speed between the cities of the West Bank in high-octane car races.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2HO45B4yvQ

‘Salt of this Sea’ (2008) Annemarie Jacir

Soraya, an American-born Palestinian woman, heads to Israel and Palestine on a quest to reclaim her family's home and money that were taken during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBbPUxbjiuc

‘Waltz with Bashir’ (2008) Ari Folman

As a 19-year-old infantry soldier in the 1982 war with Lebanon, Folman witnessed the Sabra and Shatila massacre, but realizes that he has no memory of the event. In 2006, he seeks out others who were in Beirut at the time to discuss their memories, including a psychologist specializing in post-traumatic stress disorders and the first journalist to cover the massacre.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylzO9vbEpPg

‘Wedding in Galilee’ (1987) Michel Khleifi

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A Palestinian seeks Israeli permission to waive curfew to give his son a fine wedding. The military governor's condition is that he and his officers attend. As darkness falls, tensions between army and villagers rise, and the groom's wedding-night anger and impotence threaten family dignity and honor.

Available to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Wedding-Galilee-Mohamad-Ali-Akili/dp/B00019G4UU

‘When I Saw You’ (2012) Annemarie Jacir

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Together with his mother, Tarek has to flee from Palestine to Jordan. Having been separated from his beloved father in the chaos of war, Tarek has difficulties adjusting to life in a refugee camp between thousands of tents and prefab houses.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBXFBPwL8JI

‘Zaytoun’ (2012) Eran Riklis

Yoni, an Israeli fighter pilot, is shot down over Beirut and captured by the Palestine Liberation Organization. Fahed, a precocious young Palestinian refugee who is angered by the death of his father in an Israeli air attack, agrees to help Yoni escape and lead him out of the city if Yoni will get him over the border and back to his family's ancestral village.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QolS5ALSFy4

‘Zero Motivation’ (2014) Talya Lavie

In this film, two women stationed at a military base are in danger of dying — of boredom. They work in the personnel office and spend their days playing computer games and occasionally teaching a newcomer how to shred papers.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SV4ptfyaQFA

 ‘5 Broken Cameras’ (2011) Directed by Emad Burnat & Guy Davidi

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Warning: Contains scenes of graphic violence. A documentary on a Palestinian farmer's chronicle of his non-violent resistance to the actions of the Israeli army.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_93nOqwmhU

Films produced by organisations

‘Breaking the Silence Video Testimonies’

Breaking the Silence is an organisation of veteran combatants who have served in the Israeli military since 2002 and have taken it upon themselves to expose the Israeli public to the reality of everyday life in the Occupied Territories.

http://www.breakingthesilence.org.il/testimonies/videos

‘Meet the Parents Circle - Families Forum video’

The Parents Circle - Families Forum (PCFF) is a joint Palestinian Israeli organization of over 600 families, all of whom have lost a close family member as a result of the prolonged conflict.

http://www.theparentscircle.com/VideoGalery.aspx

StandWithUs

An international Israel education organization dedicated to educating people of all ages about Israel and to combating the extremism and anti-Semitism that often distorts the issues.

http://www.standwithus.com/video/                                                           

Palestine Solidarity Campaign

A series of 3 short films about student activism created by Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC). PSC is biggest organisation in the UK dedicated to securing Palestinian human rights. PSC aims to promote peace, equality, and justice and against racism, occupation, and colonisation.

https://www.palestinecampaign.org/films/psc-videos/