Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Our Sufferings in this Land

On Monday our regular socialist film night in Swindon was lucky enough to be visited by Ed Hill from Bristol, who introduced his documentary Our sufferings in this land , which is currently DVD of the month for This Week in Palestine.
I have known Ed since we were both active in the anti-poll tax campaign in Bristol. I am pleased that we had 18 people there to watch the film, and it generated some good discussion, as well as practical suggestions for supporting the palestinians.

I have to say that as someone who has visited the West bank myself, this film is the best account I have seen for revealing the day to day oppression of Palestinians, and is also full of practical advice for activists. It doesn't assume any prior knowledge of the history or the current situation, but neither is it patronising. I strongly recommend that you buy a copy, and once you have watched it pass it round your friends.

In autumn 2005, Ed visited Palestine on a two-week olive harvest trip organised by Zaytoun (the U.K. cooperative that imports Palestinian olive oil) and the International Women’s Peace Service.

As well as visiting Jerusalem and Bethlehem, the group stayed in two small rural towns in the West Bank working with the farmers harvesting their olives. Ed also visited the northern town of Tulkarem to deliver money raised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign - Bristol to an orphanage there.

Using a pocket video camera, Ed has recorded his experiences and his film aims to present a complete understanding of the history, politics, geography, and culture of Palestine. It dramatically explains the construction of the Separation Wall, the checkpoints, the Apartheid system of passes, separate road networks, the continual military oppression and the creeping ethnic-cleansing, together with the spirited culture and resistance of a brave people.

Through interviews with farmers, teachers, activists, and ordinary people, woven together with the story of the trip, Ed presents an understanding of Palestine as a case-study which unlocks an understanding of world politics and the hypocrisy of politicians and the bias of the daily media. He encourages everyone to visit Palestine and his conclusion is that one cannot rely on anyone else for solutions - everyone has the power to make a difference.

This documentary film is a valuable resource in exposing Israel’s daily suffocation of the Palestinian people, and is an excellent tool in opening the eyes of those who are not aware of the suffering that the Palestinian people endure on a daily basis.

The DVD is available for purchase online at the film director’s website .

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