Back to reality VI: Understanding

Posted February 10

I've spent years of my life living and travelling around the globe, to get a better understanding of the world in which we live. 

I watch documentaries for the same reason. 

One part of the world I've found the most difficult to understand is the Middle East, particularly Israel and Palestine. 

Within this small dagger-shaped tract of land at the eastern end of the Mediterranean lies a region rich in modern and ancient history. 

A cultural crossroads between Asia, Africa and Europe, it contains some of the world's most spiritually important sites for Jews, Christians, Muslims, Druze and Baha'i. 

This holy land has long been a site of seething turmoil, a hotbed of conflict between various races and religions. 

The best understanding I've received of this region's current complexities has come from a series of documentaries. 

 

Dror Moreh's The Gatekeepers revolves around a series of surprisingly revealing interviews with the leaders of the Shin Bet, Israel's internal security service. 

It looks back at forty years of war, occupation, terrorism and torture through the eyes of men working from the shadows in positions of immense power and responsibility. 


Ari Folman's Waltz With Bashir is a strange - and strangely powerful - union of documentary and animation. 

As a teenager, Folman fought in the war against Lebanon. Having lost his memories of that time, he sets out in search of his own past and the terrible secrets he has kept hidden from himself. 


Ra'anan Alexandrowicz's The Law In These Parts examines the system of military rule imposed on inhabitants of occupied Palestine.

What seems at first glance like a dull legal documentary on a seemingly dry subject quickly engages its audience from an unexpectedly philosophical angle. 


Sisters For Sale is the incredible true story of the attempted search and rescue of two friends who were kidnapped from their remote mountain villages and sold as teenaged brides in the world's most populous country. 

Finishing funds are now required to complete the post-production of Sisters For Sale - to be sure of seeing the film, and to help me expose the complex realities of the human trafficking crisis, pre-order it now here on the website. 

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