In 2004, residents of the Palestinian town of Budrus rallied together to protest against Israel’s wall of separation, which threatened to cut the villagers off from their farmland and olive groves. Using peaceful means and led by former Fatah member-turned-community organiser Ayed Morrar, the townsfolk planted themselves in the path of the bulldozers and refused to move, despite increasingly heated provocation. Bacha’s doc is an unemphatic, clear-sighted look at these protests and their outcome, from early town meetings to the inevitable involvement of Palestinian politicians, Israeli soldiers and international peace ambassadors. In refusing to romanticise the villagers or demonise their aggressors, she presents a stark and wholly believable portrait of the Middle East conflict in microcosm, while her welcome focus on character over political point-scoring gives ‘Budrus’ a weighty emotional kick.
Friday September 24 2010