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I had never been to Israel or the West Bank before the summer of 2011, and I had no previous involvement with the Palestine Israel conflict. I didn't follow the conflict closely, figuring it was hopeless and would drag on forever.
That changed in August, 2011, when I flew to Tel Aviv with my son, who had just turned 14. We traveled through the West Bank, to Palestinian villages, like Bet Ommar, and Israeli settlements, like Shilo. I could see and feel a film on the way. The project was launched.
I am unaffiliated and non-partisan. We financed the film through Kickstarter, small donations and out of pocket. Working on a tiny budget, we filmed with a one-person crew, traveling freely between Palestinian towns and Israeli settlements.
We followed our subjects over the course of a year -- the film focuses on Israeli settlers, and the Israelis and Palestinians who oppose them. They are religious and secular, extremist and moderate, party faithful and freethinkers
I made "Holy Land" to engage people on ALL sides of the issue. BDS activists. Mainstream Hillel. And perhaps the largest constituency -- people who no longer care.
I can't claim to be objective -- about this conflict, or about anything else. I don't think anyone can. But I lay claim to having sought balance and compassion -- and I welcome anyone who questions my success in achieving those goals to offer a critique. I'm also happy to hear from anyone who thinks I succeeded in making an even-handed film about this toxically radioactive issue.
The film isn't about who is right and wrong. It's about why we should give a damn.
Holy Land has won praise from critics and audiences at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, the UK Jewish Film Festival in London, the Seattle Jewish Film Festival, and at campus and community screenings.
Holy Land has been recommended by Video Librarian, Library Journal and Educational Media Reviews Online. Please go to Reviews to read more. Go to Educators for teaching resources and reactions from college and high school students
Ordering is easy and fast via New Day Films, for both DVD and streaming.
The DVD includes 82-minute and 56-minute versions of the film, and video extra interviews with the film's main Palestinian and Israeli subjects.
Multiple streaming options are available directly from New Day.
To stream immediately via the KANOPY campus streaming service, click HERE.
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The film is closed captioned and also has English subtitles (SDH).