Movie Review: The Iron Wall February 7, 2007Posted by Andreas in Israel and Palestine, Movie Reviews, Politics.
I’m part of a small, Cape Town-based non-profit collective called While You Were Sleeping. We organise public screenings of progressive documentary films with topics that address what we think are important social, political and environmental issues.
The screenings are always followed by a facilitated audience discussion and the whole idea behind these events is to raise awareness in our communities, to encourage open and honest debate about these issues and to help people connect and “network”.
The Iron Wall documents the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, paying particular attention to the continued existence and expansion of Israeli settlements in the Palestinian West Bank and the massive wall that is being build between the West Bank and Israel.
The movie was released last year and is therefore still quite current.
I found the The Iron Wall, which was directed by Mohammed Alatar who grew up as a Palestinian refugee in Jordan, surprisingly balanced. I had half expected shrill, passionate and irreconcilable viewpoints from two sides who will seemingly be separated by mutual animosity and hatred for eternity.
What the film does contain, apart from scenes of events happening on the ground, is a series of very insightful interviews in which Israeli and Palestinian commentators (including politicians, ex-soldiers, NGO workers and an Israeli woman living in a West Bank settlement) describe the situation in a very factual and level-headed fashion.
One of the things that struck me when I was watching The Iron Wall for the first time was the disjunction between my own personal image of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the realities as depicted in the film.
I consider myself a reasonably well-informed individual who is familiar with the issues at stake and felt that I was approaching media-overload as far as the Crisis in the Middle EastTM was concerned. Watching The Iron Wall, however, was quite an eye-opener.
If you are even vaguely interested in this long-standing conflict, no matter where your allegiances lie, I highly recommend that you watch this film – I guarantee that you will come away with a new understanding of the crisis.
(For loads of up to date reports and commentary on the Israel-Palestine conflict, check out ZNet’s Israel-Palestine Watch.)