Conflict and Resistance in the Middle East

Hello EverybodyPeople Like UsHello Everybody: One Journalist's Search for Truth in the Middle East (UK title); People Like Us: Misrepresenting the Middle East (US title) by Joris Luyendijk

Luyendijk describes his five years as a reporter in the Middle East. He speaks to a wide range of people to chronicle their first-hand experiences of dictatorship, occupation and war. He becomes increasingly aware of the gap between what he sees and what is reported in the media. In spite of the multitude of narratives with conflicting implications, the media focuses only on stories that reinforce the oversimplified beliefs of the West. By turns humorous and disheartening, his story reveals how the media portrays a filtered version of reality in the Middle East.

Mornings in JeninMornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa

Mornings in Jenin is the Palestinian story told through four generations of a single family. Forcibly removed from the ancient village of Ein Hod by the newly-formed state of Israel in 1948, the Abulhejas are sent to the Jenin refugee camp. Exiled from his beloved olive groves, the family patriarch languishes of a broken heart. His eldest son fathers a family and his grandchildren struggle against tragedy toward freedom, peace and home. Through the eyes of Amal, the patriarch's bright granddaughter, the story threads between the major Palestinian-Israeli clashes of three decades. It is a story of love and loss, of childhood, marriage, and parenthood, and finally, of the need to share her history with her daughter.

Live: From BethlehemLive from Bethlehem (film)

Live from Bethlehem (2009) chronicles the struggles and successes of the Ma'an News Network, the only major independent news source in the Palestinian Territories. It looks at the challenges journalists face when trying to declare independence from hate-filled propaganda and provide news in one of the world’s most combative regions. It focuses more on people than politics while exploring questions of gender equality and freedom of expression in the evolving Palestinian media.

BudrusBudrus (film)

In Budrus, Ayed Morrar, an unlikely community organizer, unites Palestinians from all political factions and Israelis to save his village from destruction by Israel’s Separation Barrier. Victory seems improbable until his 15-year-old daughter, Iltezam, launches a women’s contingent that quickly moves to the front lines. Together, father and daughter unleash an inspiring, yet little-known movement in the Occupied Palestinian Territories that is still gaining ground today. This 2009 subtitled documentary chronicles this movement and shines a light on people who choose nonviolence to confront a threat yet remain virtually unknown to the world.

PromisesPromises (film)

Promises, released in 2001, is a (sub-titled) documentary that explores the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the eyes of seven children living in the Palestinian communities on the West Bank and Israeli neighborhoods in Jerusalem. Though they live only minutes apart, they exist in completely separate worlds. The film explores these boundaries and tells the story of a few children who daringly crossed those lines to meet. The film gives a human, and sometimes humorous, portrait of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

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