Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Visit Palestine

Visit Palestine is a devastating account of a Irish womans' experience of working as a international observer in Jenin. This film covers 3 years of her life. Caiomhe Butterly lived with the people of Jenin and helped protect whoever she could, from the daily effects fo the Israeli occupation - there was a time when she had received some news airtime when she was shot by the Israelis. Luckily she survived with no disability, Through this, Caiomhe was awarded the Time Magazine European Hero Award.

Caiomhi's film shows what it is like for the people to be under enforced curfews... to be bombarded by soldiers in tanks and guns - the bombing of peoples homes - the killing of men, women and children. The grief of the loved ones, such as orphans and partners who have to deal with life managing with children, loneliness and financial difficulties without their husband or wife. Including the mother of one of the few female suicide bombers. Who is now without 2 of her beloved children. 1 having died due to being shot by the Israelis - in front of his sister, who went on to avenge her brothers death, by blowing herself up and killing Israelis.
The film shows how politicised the children are from living in an unnatural and psychologically crippling environment - where they have to often run to school, ducking and diving under gun fire. when they have to deal with classmates being shot in their own classrooms and being taught how to survive under those dangerous conditions.
There were many children, men and particularly women who talked about their experiences of losing loved ones and homes. Not one of those people blamed or showed any hatred for the Jewish/Israeli people. But they had made clear where they did focus their frustration of where the daily bombardment had come from, which was Ariel Sharon, the Israeli premier.

It is so easy to disassociate oneself from such circumstances when clips are shown on the news - but this film was gritty and brought home to me, the emotional, physical and social factors of the people of Palestine.
As for the activists that go to places of conflict, like those who go to Palestine and Iraq. I have often heard people saying that such people are mad and careless - but watching this film shows that these people know they are not going to have an easy time or some sort of holiday - This film confirms that they're only purpose is utter determined humanitarianism.

I recommend this film to anyone who has an interest in Middle Eastern politics. Go on the website - and see about getting it shown at your nearest independent cinema - or buy the DVD.

I went to a local showing and we had the opportunity to ask Katie Barlow, the directer of the film questions about her work. She is doing her best to get major TV channels to show her film - which has already been shown in some places in the Middle East and free speech TV.


Blogger voltaires_priest said...

Hi Lala, have just sorted the colours and links on this for you (hope this is OK - I didn't change any of the text).

It looks like a great film - although it's sometimes hoping against hope that they'll show intelligent cinema in my neck of the woods...

1:50 AM  
Anonymous boogski said...

Well sure, if you consider what appears to be one-sided propaganda as "intelligent cinema".

You are left with a burning anger on behalf of those who bear the occupation of their land and appalling military oppression with such fortitude. Israel, the U.S. and their apologists stand indicted and, on this evidence, convicted'
Ken Loach

Ya don't say! Who would've imagined...

From the trailer, Jenin looks rather solidly built. I didn't see any tents. You know. Things you might see at a REAL refugee camp.

3:50 PM  
Blogger voltaires_priest said...

It got levelled, booger. Where do you think the tents came from?

4:48 PM  
Blogger Renegade Eye said...

Good post.

I liked the Palestinian movie Paradise Now. Be sure to see that if it plays, or on DVD. It follows the last 24 hours of the lives of two Palestinian suicide bombers. It exposed the baron life Palestinians face.

8:47 PM  
Anonymous boogski said...

Why didn't the Palestinians make the best of those greenhouses? They shit right in Bill Gates' face.

They need to quit worrying about killing Israelis and start getting their shit together.

10:14 PM  
Blogger voltaires_priest said...


You'd almost think the Palestinians were occupying Israel, rather than vice-versa, from the tone of your comments. I mean, can't you see what's in front of you regarding that conflict?

11:47 PM  
Anonymous boogski said...

Come on, Volt. Let's be realistic. Think about all of the attacks. Do the Israelis strike you as folks who would intentionally kill children? I think not.

12:38 AM  
Blogger voltaires_priest said...

Thing is, Booger, if your kid is dead, it's kinda cold comfort even if the guy who bombed him didn't mean to do it.

From such killings, new terrorists are born.

1:39 AM  
Anonymous boogski said...

If you're talking about the beach incident, there seems to be a question as to who's to blame.

2:42 AM  
Blogger voltaires_priest said...

Not so much that specific incident (although it is an example) - I'm talking more about the roots of the whole thing: long standing occupation and anger, deaths of innocents etc.

12:11 AM  
Blogger LaLaMiMi said...

I did think the film was one sided - it would have been better to see Israeli families, as well as Palestinians - but thinking clearly.. the whole film was about the experience of a peace activist living in Jenin - I think she should have called it Visit Jenin..

Boogski, there have been incidences when children were repeatedly shot at point blank, remember the case of a little girl who died of multiple wounds and the soldier continued to spray bullets into her lifeless body - there have been kids that were shot dead in their own class rooms, etc

4:31 PM  
Blogger Dariush said...

I can honestly say that I'm surprised to see Jim Denham hasn't already popped up here with some laudatory comments about the glories of Zionist "socialism".

Bebeenam hamshahri. To vaghean ba een koskhol-e khoonkhar doostee?

2:27 AM  
Blogger voltaires_priest said...

Hi Dariush, welcome to Shiraz.

11:36 PM  

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