Budrus (2009, Julie Bacha) is a film about the village of Budrus and its struggle against the apartheid wall cutting through 300 acres of its land. The film follows three people, a Fatah member, a Hamas member, and a young woman who is the daughter of the Fatah member. The viewer explores the unique situation of Budrus, how it was the first village to exercise inclusive non-violent protests against the confiscation of land. It shows the brutality of the IOF perfectly as the filmmaker captures IOF soldiers beating the fellaheen with sticks and shooting at them with live ammunition. The film emphasized the people of the village and their bravery admirably, however, there were a few criticisms I must mention.
In Budrus, the filmmaker uses the rather neutral term “barrier” when referring to the wall. In addition, by the end of the film one is unclear if the filmmaker is for or against the wall, as it seems by the end that the villagers have earned a victory by forcing the Israelis to build closer to the green line (1967 borders). I think the film would have been better if it had taken a stronger stand against the wall. However, seeing as the film also took great lengths to illustrate the bravery of the Israeli leftists who joined the protests and saught to humanize one of the soldiers who was captured on film beating Palestinians, I suppose there must be a desire to reach a broad audience. Unfortunately, when one seeks to capture a broad audience they fail to accurately portray the truth, the truth being that the wall is a disgusting blight on humanity and will hopefully be seen one day in the same light (popularly) as the Berlin Wall.
I watched this movie at the Ramallah Cultural Palace with a 50/50 mix of Palestinians and foreigners. Queen Noor of Jordan was also in attendance, and it seemed many were more keen on getting a photo of her than sticking around for the question and answer session afterward. Although the main characters and filmmaker were present on stage after the showing, the woman MCing the event had to appeal to the audience to stay for Q&A instead of rushing out to watch the World Cup match. Indeed, nobody stayed. There were only a handful left seated for the Q&A and the rest rushed off to chatter excitedly about the match while hustling to one of the Ramallah clubs to watch.
“Come on, guys! This is more important than a football match!” she pleaded.
The foreigners and Palestinians begged to differ.