Note: Solutions Not Sides makes no attempt to reconcile or support any of these films or the narratives they show, but we believe it is important to understand each side’s perspective and the way that their society presents and understands events.
Part Two is available here
‘Budrus: It Takes a Village to Unite the Most Divided People on Earth’ (2010) Julia Bacha
Budrus is a documentary film about a Palestinian community organizer, Ayed Morrar, who unites local Fatah and Hamas members along with Israeli supporters in an unarmed movement to save his village of Budrus from destruction by Israel’s Separation Barrier. It offers a very good insight into Israeli & Palestinian non-violent activism.
Themes: Peace activism, separation Barrier, nonviolent resistance.
‘Disturbing the Peace’ (2016) Stephen Apkon & Andrew Young
A group of former enemy combatants embark on a transformational journey from soldiers to non-violent peace activists.
Themes: Peace Activism, military, nonviolent resistance
Available on Netflix
Breaking the Silence Video Testimonies
Breaking the Silence is an organisation of veteran combatants who have served in the Israeli military since 2002 and have taken it upon themselves to expose the Israeli public to the reality of everyday life in the Occupied Territories.
Themes: Peace activism, Israeli military experience, testimonies
‘Dancing in Jaffa’ (2013) Hilla Medalia
Renowned ball-room dancer Pierre Dulaine takes his program, Dancing Classrooms, back to his city of birth, Jaffa, to teach Jewish and Palestinian Israelis to dance and compete together.
Themes: Dancing, co-existence, peace activism
‘This Is My land’ (2012) Tamara Erde
How do the Palestinian and Israeli (Jewish and Arab) education systems teach the history of their nations? The documentary follows several Israeli and Palestinian teachers during a school year and the way they teach their national history.
Themes: Israeli education system, Palestinian education system
Promises (2001) B.Z. Goldberg, Justine Shapir & Carlos Bolado
Several Jewish and Palestinian children are followed for three years and put in touch with each other, in this alternative look at the Jewish-Palestinian conflict.
Themes: Life stories of Jewish children, life stories of #Palestinian children, co-existence
‘Meet the Parents Circle - Families Forum video’
The Parents Circle - Families Forum (PCFF) is a joint Palestinian Israeli organization of over 600 families, all of whom have lost a close family member as a result of the prolonged conflict.
Themes: Coexistence, peace activism, bereavement
‘5 Broken Cameras’ (2011) Directed by Emad Burnat & Guy Davidi
Warning: Contains scenes of graphic violence. A documentary on a Palestinian farmer's chronicle of his non-violent resistance to the actions of the Israeli army.
Themes: Nonviolent resistance, life in Palestine
Available on Netflix
‘Open Bethlehem’ (2015) Leila Sansour
Director Leila Sansour returns to Bethlehem to make a film about her home town, soon to be encircled by a wall. She left the city as a teenager thinking that Bethlehem was too small and provincial. Armed with her camera and a dilapidated family car that keeps breaking down, Leila plans to make an epic film about a legendary town in crisis but just few months into filming her life and the film take an unexpected turn when cousin Carol, Leila’s last relative in town, persuades her to stay to start a campaign to save the city.
Themes: Separation barrier, nonviolent resistance, life in Palestine
‘The Birth of Israel’ (2008) Jeremy Bowen
Documentary examining the events leading up to the Israeli war of Independence in 1948, its continuing impact on Arab/Israeli relations and the implications for the Middle East peace process.
Themes: History of the conflict, the Israeli war of Independence in 1948, Arab/Israel relations
‘The Law in these Parts’ (2012) Ra-Anan Alexandrowicz
This documentary narrates the history of Israel's military legal system in the Occupied Palestinian Territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Themes: Israeli legal system, Israeli military occupation
Available on Netflix
‘Elusive Peace: Israel and the Arabs’ (2005) Norman Percy
Warning: Contains graphic images. A three part documentary series examines the last years of the Arab-Israeli peace process from the point of view of presidents and prime ministers, their generals and ministers and those behind the suicide bombs and assassinations. The series reveals what happened behind closed doors as the peace process failed and the violence of the intifada exploded.
Themes: Palestine-Israel peace process, Second Intifada, Violence, Terrorism
Available on YouTube
‘The Price of Kings: Shimon Peres’ (2012) Directed by Joanna Natasegara & Richard Symons
Through exclusive interviews and archive footage, 'The Price of Kings' takes an in-depth look into the lengthy yet controversial political life of the former President of Israel, Shimon Peres.
Themes: Israeli politics, Israeli political history
'The Gatekeepers’ (2013) Dror Moreh
For the first time ever, six former heads of the Shin Bet, Israel’s secret service agency, agree to share their insights and reflect publicly on their actions and decisions. Intimately interviewed, they shed light on the controversy surrounding the Occupation in the aftermath of the Six Day War.
Themes: Israel’s secret service, occupation, Israeli history, Israeli military history, history of Israeli-Palestinian conflict
‘A Trip Along Exodus Dir’ (2015) Hind Shoufani
Documentary exploring the last 70 years of Palestinian politics seen through the prism of the life of the filmmaker’s father, Dr. Elias Shoufani, a leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation and an academic and leftist intellectual who was one of the leaders of the opposition to Arafat within Fatah for 20 years.
Themes: history of Palestine, Palestinian politics
‘Israel Vs Israel’ (2010) Terje Carlsson
One grandmother, one rabbi, one anarchist and one ex-soldier – four Israelis trying to put an end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories. The documentary Israel vs Israel is a film about Jewish peace activists who in both words and actions take a stand again 40 years of occupation and illegal settlements.
Themes: Nonviolence, Jewish religious leader, peace activism
‘JAFFA: The Orange’s Clockwork’ (2009) Eyal Sivan
Jaffa, the orange’s clockwork narrates the visual history of the famous citrus fruit originated from Palestine and known worldwide for centuries as "Jaffa oranges". The history of the orange is the history of the land.
Themes: History of Jaffa, history of Israel-Palestine
‘Forty Shades of Grey’ (2012) Nicky Larkin
The documentary is an experimental, feature-length, non-narrative film piece, shot on location in Israel and the Palestinian territories. Some very black and white ideas exist, particularly in Europe, when people think of this notorious hot-spot. However this project aims to explore the forty shades of grey in between the black and the white we are presented with in our news media.
Themes: Art documentary, Israel and the Palestinian territories, media portrayals, shades of grey
‘Forever Pure - Football and Racism in Jerusalem’ (2016) Maya Zinshtein
Documentary which follows events at Israel's most notorious football club. Beitar Jerusalem FC is the most popular team in Israel and the only club in the Premier League never to sign an Arab player. Midway through a season the club's owner, Russian-Israeli oligarch Arcadi Gaydamak, brought in two Muslim players from Chechnya in a secretive transfer deal that triggered the most racist campaign in Israeli sport and sent the club spiralling out of control.
Themes: Israeli football, sports, racism, identity
Louis Theroux: The Ultra Zionists (2011) Andy Wells
Louis Theroux investigates ultra-nationalist Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem, Hebron and Nablus. The documentary also follows Theroux as he tours the Muslim quarter of Jerusalem with Daniel Luria of the Ateret Cohanim Zionist Movement.
Themes: Jewish Settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, East Jerusalem, Hebron, Nablus, Muslim quarter of Jerusalem
Available on BBC iPlayer & Netflix
‘The Settlers’ (2016) Shimon Dotan
A look at Jewish settlers in the West Bank and their allies - Jewish and non-Jewish alike - in Israel, America and Europe. The origins of the settler phenomenon, which reach back almost half a century, are explored along with a look at who the settlers are today and how they impact the Middle East.
Themes: Jewish Settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories
‘Impact of Terror’ (2004) Tim Wolochatiuk
Documentary about Israeli victims of terror struggling to cope in the aftermath of the Aug. 9, 2001 Sbarro pizzeria bombing in Jerusalem. It effectively maps out the victims’ scars –both physical and emotional – and humanizes the personal struggles of individuals who are often unnamed in news reports and relegated to casualty counts.
Themes: Impact of violence & terrorism, life in Israel
‘Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land’ (2004) - Sut Jhally & Bathsheba Ratzkoff
A comparison of U.S. and international media coverage of the crisis in the Middle East.
Themes: media coverage of the conflict
“Esc & Ctrl” episodes 1, 3 and 10 (2013) - Jon Ronson
Esc & Ctrl is an online series of short documentary films where journalist and filmmaker Jon Ronson explores some aspects of screen culture and the Internet. By exemplifying the concepts of control of information and the screen culture’s reactions to publishing, censorship, viral videos, media attention and manipulation; a small set of stories weave together to pose bigger questions around democracy and open communication in the age of the computers and a corporately mediated virtual world. The series starts with a YouTube video by a man named Marc Pax who claims he experienced homophobia when trying to work with the Free Gaza Movement in Palestine. With it being discovered that this man was not actually Marc Pax, but an actor named Omer Gershon, this episode sets out to investigate what the true intentions behind this suspicious video are. What is revealed is the technique of ‘astroturfing’—the name given to fake grassroots campaigns posing as genuine stories—as a powerful technique used by the powerful in the corporate sphere of ‘social media’ websites to continue to disseminate propaganda with a new twist at attempted authenticity.
Themes: Screen culture, information & propaganda, media coverage of the conflict
Available at: https://thoughtmaybe.com/esc-ctrl/
‘Jenin, Jenin’ (2002) Mohammed Bakri
The documentary portrays "the Palestinian truth" about the "Battle of Jenin", a clash between the Israeli army and Palestinians in April 2002 which drew Palestinian accounts of the "Battle of Jenin". The film consists of interviews with the inhabitants of Jenin edited by the producer.
Themes: Palestinian narrative of the "2002 Jenin Massacre"
Available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_HTviLtynM
‘The Road to Jenin’ (2003) Pierre Rehov
'The Road to Jenin' was produced to counter the Palestinian narrative in relation to the Battle of Jenin, a clash between the Israeli army and Palestinian militants in April 2002 which drew Palestinian accounts of a "Jenin Massacre". This film was also a response to Mohammed Bakri's film entitled 'Jenin, Jenin'.
Themes: Israeli narrative of "2002 battle of Jenin"
Available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knYH5oiy3C0
‘Beaufort’ (2007) Joseph Cedar
The film is about an IDF unit stationed at the isolated mountaintop Beaufort post in Southern Lebanon during the South Lebanon conflict, and their commander, Liraz Librati, who was the last commander of the Beaufort castle before the Israeli withdrawal in 2000. It chronicles the daily routine of a group of soldiers positioned at the 12th century Crusader stronghold of Beaufort Castle, their feelings and their fears, and explores their moral dilemmas in the days preceding the withdrawal and end of the 18-year South Lebanon conflict.
Themes: Life as an Israeli Defence Force Soldier, South Lebanon conflict, history of Israel
‘Zero Motivation’ (2014) Talya Lavie
In this film, two women stationed at a military base are in danger of dying — of boredom. They work in the personnel office and spend their days playing computer games and occasionally teaching a newcomer how to shred papers.
Themes: Life as an Israeli Defence Force, female perspective, life in Israel
‘Speed Sisters’ (2017) Amber Fares
Checkpoints set up by the Israeli military and social expectations don't stop members of the Middle East's first all-women racing team as they speed between the cities of the West Bank in high-octane car races.
Themes: Life in Palestine, female perspective
‘Junction 48’ (2016) Udi Aloni
Two young Palestinian hip-hop artists fall in love and use their music to regain normalcy in a crime-ridden, conservative society.
Themes: Music, hip-hop, life as an Israeli-Arab
‘A Bottle in the Gaza Sea’ (2011) Thierry Binisti
Tal is 17 years old. Naim is 20. She's Israeli. He's Palestinian. She lives in Jerusalem. He lives in Gaza. A bottle thrown in the sea and a correspondence by email nurture the slender hope that their relationship might give them the strength to confront the harsh of the conflict.
Themes: Jerusalem, Gaza, conflict, love story
‘In Between’ (2016) Maysaloun Hamoud
Three Arab-Israeli women share an apartment in Tel Aviv and try to balance their traditions with the modern world. #life as Israeli Arab #female perspectives #Tel-Aviv
‘Lemon Tree’ (2008) Eran Riklis
The story of a Palestinian widow who must defend her lemon-tree field when a new Israeli Defense Minister moves next to her and threatens to have her lemon grove torn down.
Themes: Life on the border between Israel and the West Bank, bereavement, nonviolent resistance.
‘A Borrowed Identity’ (2014) Eran Riklis
A Palestinian-Israeli boy named Eyad is sent to a prestigious boarding school in Jerusalem, where he struggles with issues of language, culture, and identity.
Themes: Life as an Israeli-Arab, coming of age, identity, Jerusalem.