A documentary on a Palestinian farmer's chronicle of his nonviolent resistance to the actions of the Israeli army by Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi (2011).
Eloquence, spare cinematic metaphor and intimate personal vision create a visceral, first-person story of non-violent resistance in Bil’in, a West Bank village threatened by encroaching Israeli settlement in this Sundance and IDFA award-winner. This collaboration between Palestinian farmer-filmmaker Emad Burnat and Israeli filmmaker Guy Davidi begins when Emad buys his first camera to film his fourth son’s arrival. That same week, bulldozers begin ripping out the village’s olive trees to make way for a separation wall, so Emad films that too. And so begin the six-year, five-camera parallel arcs of his son’s growth and the genesis of an international resistance movement. As construction of the wall intensifies so do the protests. Arrests become commonplace, the situation increasingly volatile. Emad keeps filming despite the dangers, creating a brilliant example of what documentary is at its core, allowing the personal to transcend politics to tell the deeper humanist story. Gisèle Gordon