September 19th, 2012 | Comments Off
Amidst increasing tension in Jerusalem, the creators of ‘Budrus’ release a new short doc chronicling settlement growth in the city and a non-violent campaign to halt it.
Over the past few weeks, the world’s most contested city has once again returned to the headlines. As wrangling over the Democratic Party platform has underlined sensitivities surrounding Jerusalem in the US, recent developments on the ground have brought the atmosphere in the city to a boiling point.
On the evening of 16 August, Palestinian youth Jamal Julani was nearly killed in an attempted lynching (according to Israeli police) by a group of Israeli teenagers in downtown Jerusalem. Last week, Israeli police announced they had arrested an additional group of Jewish youth from Jerusalem, suspected of breaking a Palestinian man’s leg for racially motivated reasons.
The mounting violence has not been the only cause of increasing tension. On 2 September, Israeli settlers took over a single room in the home of a Palestinian family in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras Al-Amud. This eviction, representing a new level of escalation, is the latest in a series of settler takeovers that have occurred in East Jerusalem over the past several years. With Israeli courts often backing the settlers’ claims to the properties, hundreds of other Palestinian residents around the city now face the same threat.
At this crucial moment, the award-winning creators of Budrus present My Neighbourhood, a new short documentary following the impact of settlement growth in the heart of Jerusalem, and chronicling the nonviolent campaign waged by Palestinians and Israelis to put it to an end.
My Neighbourhood premiered this past April at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York and has been screened at prominent venues including the European Parliament and the Paley Center for Media. It chronicles the story of Mohammed El Kurd, a Palestinian teenager forced to share a section of his house with Israeli settlers. When Israeli activists arrive in his neighbourhood to protest the settlements, Mohammed comes of age in the midst of unrelenting tension with his neighbors and unexpected cooperation with Israeli allies in his backyard.
My Neighbourhood is a deeply personal story that illuminates two of the most pressing and under-reported trends taking place in Jerusalem today: the growth of Israeli settlements inside long-standing Palestinian neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem, in most cases in full coordination with the Israeli authorities and financed by American tycoons, and the emergence of an amorphous but growing nonviolent movement to resist the settlement encroachment in the city. This movement started in the neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, as chronicled in the film, and has spread to several other communities. It includes both Palestinian residents and Israeli supporters, many of whom had never been politically active before.
The DVD will be available through www.justvision.org as of 25 September.
Written by Guest
DocGeeks on Twitter
© 2013 DocGeeks