Bored of the homefront campaigning comedy circuit? Why not try an International Solidarity Movement adventure holiday in the Occupied Territories? Experience bullets ricocheting at your feet; charge your batteries in a besieged Bethlehem hotel; bus medical necessities through blockade lines; and face off an Israeli tank. Political comedian Hardy's spring 2002 West Bank jolly was solicited by the director, who records his slow conversion from furrow-browed sceptic, muttering about the 'vainglory' of ISM volunteers (some of whom have subsequently been killed or injured), to fully signed-up comrade against arms. From all appearances there's more making friends than influencing the Israelis going on, although time will tell. The indiscrimate, monolithic collective terror of the Occupation is plain to see, but it's not a film to feign an objective overview, and the few conclusions are tentative and impressionistic. The irony is that we're back focusing on the plucky Western defenders of other folk's rights. You'd like at least to hear more of the Palestinians' thoughts on Hardy and kin. Indeed, Hardy says it himself: 'We are not the story. The story is down in the square where the people are injured and dying.' Still, it's an honest, sympathetic endeavour that offers another angle on a seemingly interminable injustice.
Jeremy Hardy versus the Israeli Army
Cast and crew