Essential viewing for Middle East studies and for campuses engaged in debate about the Israel-Palestine conflict, the film recounts a dramatic year in the lives of Israeli settlers in the West Bank, and the Israelis and Palestinians who oppose them.
*** 1/2 stars
Although other documentaries have analyzed this agonized situation…few have been as scrupulously nonpartisan in trying to present clashing viewpoints…this is highly recommended.
Director/producer Peter Cohn comes to the story with an outsider's unaffiliated perspective, gaining intimate access to the lives of key players on both sides. They include an LA-born Orthodox Israeli settler, a millenial Palestinian social media journalist, an unconventional settler rabbi, and the progressive mayor of a Palestinian town. Holy Land is also a story of generational passage in a land of conflict and faith, and of the rhythms of life in a majestic landscape of mountains, deserts, vineyards and olive orchards.
With no preaching and an unflinching focus on the realities on the ground, Holy Land is a film that challenges conventional viewpoints about the Palestine-Israel conflict. A valuable resource for balanced discussion around such flashpoint issues as BDS, the two-state solution and the US approach to peace negotiations.
DVD includes: 80-minute and 56-minute versions of the film and interview with the film's main subjects.
A movingly empathetic glimpse at a terrain where empathy is in perilously short supply and, surprisingly, not despairing because of its capacity to probe delicately beneath the conflicting slogans and look squarely at a slice of people caught in the West Bank's web.
"... this well-balanced documentary explores both sides of the conflict, providing intimate views of the controversy through conversations with Israeli settlers and activists who oppose the settlements and Palestinians whose families have been living on the lands for centuries."
A revealing picture of the lives, views and struggles of both Palestinians and Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank.