CJAllies Film Sheet


Budrus:  “Budrus is a tiny village where something potentially very big happened, the setting for a hopeful story in an area of the world that has produced hardly any hope at all in recent years.  As introduced in the surprisingly heartening documentary of the same name, Budrus is a small agricultural settlement in the West Bank, definitely not the kind of place you’d expect a popular movement encouraging nonviolent resistance to take root and grow. But that, as this Julia Bacha-directed film shows, is what took place.”  Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times.  (78 minutes)


The Colour of Olives: In this beautifully filmed documentary, we learn that the Amer family’s house was to be destroyed, but the family wouldn’t leave, so the Israeli occupying power simply locked in the house with the wall. A house surrounded by fences and locked gates, military checkpoints all around a small village. High concrete walls cut deeply in the land, the remains of destructed houses lay scattered in the landscape as well as uprooted trees on devastated farming grounds. To get out from the house to their village, to go to school or to earn their living, the family must wait until the soldiers open the gate. This can take hours. Hours, during which the family members just stand waiting at the gate. (97 minutes)

Holy Land: Common Ground:  This film tells the story of a growing movement of Israelis and Palestinians who live as neighbors in peace. They know that neither side can impose a military solution on the other. By refusing to be enemies with one another, they undercut the predicates of a war that has lasted too long and has claimed too many lives. They engage in nonviolent resistance to policies that fragment their communities and that produce radical insecurity and violence, not the genuine security that the majority of both communities crave.  They speak in ways we have not heard in the mainstream media in the West. Palestinians condemn the suicide bombs. Israelis demand an end to the Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. (92 minutes)

The Iron Wall: In 1923, Vladmir Jabotinsky – father of the Zionist right – wrote:”Zionist colonization… can proceed and develop only under the protection of a power that is independent of the native population – behind an IRON WALL, which the native population cannot breach.” These words became the official and unspoken policy of the Zionist movement and, later, the State of Israel.  Colonies, often referred to as “settlements,” were used to solidify the Zionist foothold throughout historic Palestine.  Jerusalem filmmaker Mohammed Alatar’s 2006 documentary, The Iron Wall, exposes this phenomenon and follows the timeline, size, and population of the settlements, reveals how their construction has been a cornerstone of Israeli policy, and demonstrates how the Wall secures them as permanent and irreversible facts on the ground. (57 minutes)

Jaffa:  The Orange’s Clockwork:   During the last century, the disputed border area between Israel and the Palestinian territories was one of the world’s biggest exporters of this “orange gold.”  Director Eyal Sivan reconstructs how Jaffa started out as a Palestinian place name before becoming an Israeli brand name, and how the orange harvest shifted from a joint undertaking into a symbol used by both parties in the escalating conflict. The film uses archive footage, from the very earliest photography in 1840 right up to crisp, modern video. The images are accompanied by commentary from a range of historians, art experts, poets and political analysts, who provide perspective on the with ideological significance of the archive footage.  Orange eaters and pickers — many of whom remember the more harmonious times when Jews and Arabs still worked side by side in the orchards — also have their say.  (2009, 86 minutes)

The Land Speaks Arabic:  Directed by Maryse Gargour, this documentary details the late 19th century birth of Zionism—and its repercussions for Palestinians— with original source documents, Zionist leaders’ quotations, rare archival footage, testimonies of witnesses and interviews with historians. All help to illustrate that the expulsion of the indigenous Arab population from Palestine was far from an accidental result of the 1948 war. This award-winning film shines a spotlight on the ethnic cleansing of Palestine by the Zionist movement. (2009, 60 minutes)


The Lemon Tree: Salma Zidane lives in a tiny Palestinian village on the West Bank. When the Israeli minister of defense builds a house on the other side of the green line, Selma’s lemon trees come to the attention of his bodyguards. Her trees are a security risk. They can hide terrorists and impede the bodyguards in their work. The lemon trees were planted by Salma’s family many generations ago–they are synonymous with Salma’s family history. Salma gets herself a lawyer. But Ziad Daud is up against a battery of clever military lawyers, all of whom are covered by the top brass. (106 minutes)


Life in Occupied Palestine: Eyewitness Stories & Photos:  Life in Occupied Palestine provides an excellent introduction—in a down-to-earth, non-alienating way—to the occupation in Palestine and the nonviolent movement for freedom and equality in the Holy Land.  Baltzer’s video includes eyewitness photographs, original maps, facts, music, and action ideas. (59 minutes)




Occupation 101:  The film details life under Israeli military rule, the role of the United States in the conflict, and the major obstacles that stand in the way of a lasting and viable peace. The roots of the conflict are explained through first-hand on-the-ground experiences from leading Middle East scholars, peace activists, journalists, religious leaders and humanitarian workers whose voices have too often been suppressed in American media outlets. (88 minutes)



Peace Propaganda and The Promised Land: Through the voices of scholars, media critics, peace activists, religious figures, and Middle East experts, Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land carefully analyzes and explains how–through the use of language, framing and context–the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza remains hidden in the news media, and Israeli colonization of the occupied territories appears to be a defensive move rather than an offensive one. The documentary also explores the ways that U.S. journalists, for reasons ranging from intimidation to a lack of thorough investigation, have become complicit in carrying out Israel’s PR campaign. At its core, the documentary raises questions about the ethics and role of journalism, and the relationship between media and politics. (79 minutes)

Salt of this Sea:  Soraya, born in Brooklyn in a working class community of Palestinian refugees, discovers that her grandfather’s savings were frozen in a bank account in Jaffa when he was exiled in 1948. Stubborn, passionate and determined to reclaim what is hers, she fulfills her life-long dream of returning to Palestine. Once there, slowly she is taken apart by the reality around her and she is forced to confront her own anger. She meets Emad, a young Palestinian whose ambition, contrary to hers, is to leave forever. Tired of the constraints that dictate their lives, they know that in order to be free, they must take things into their own hands, even if it’s illegal. (109 minutes)

The Time That Remains: Chronicle of a Present Absentee:  a humorous, heartbreaking film composed of elegantly stylized autobiographical episodes from the life of writer/director Elia Suleiman. Inspired by his father’s diaries, letters his mother sent to family members who had fled the Israeli occupation, and the director’s own recollections, the film spans from 1948 until the present, recounting the saga of the filmmaker’s family in subtly hilarious vignettes. Inserting himself as a silent observer reminiscent of Buster Keaton, Suleiman trains a keen eye on the absurdities of life in Nazareth. (2009, 109 minutes)


To Shoot an Elephant:  “To shoot an elephant” is an eye witness account from The Gaza Strip during the Israeli military incursion known as “Operation Cast Lead” in 2008-2009. Urgent, insomniac, dirty, shuddering images from the only foreigners who decided and managed to stay embedded with Palestinian civilians inside Gaza.  (2010, 112 minutes)