Holy Land offers a comprehensive look at the politics, society and culture of today’s West Bank. Told from an outsider’s unaffiliated perspective, the film focuses on key players and everyday people in Israelis settlements and the Palestinian communities. The film is available on both DVD and via streaming in 82-minute and 56-minute versions. This site offers further resources for teaching and research, with more than 40 video profiles and interview excerpts. The subjects range from the late Menachem Froman, the unconventional settler rabbi who believed that the settlements could be the bridge between the West and the Islamic world, to members of Hamas in the West Bank.
Our West Bank Video Archive will offer an even more extensive collection of video, including full-length interviews with our main subjects and other West Bank Palestinians and Israeli. We are working with universities, researchers and advocacy groups about the best way to share the Archive. For a list of Video Archive interviews, click here.
Additional Educational Resources
What the Film is About
Palestine-Israel Conflict Topics
Timed Chapter Summaries
Transcript (55 Minutes)
Transcript (80 Minutes)
Seattle High School Students React to the Film
Cadets at VMI React to the Film
After completing my last film, a documentary about domestic violence in the US, I began to consider making a film about the West Bank conflict and the issues raised by Israeli West Bank settlements. I’m a secular Jew, but had no previous involvement with the Arab-Israeli conflict or connections with Zionism. I had never been to Israel or the West Bank, until I went in the summer of 2011 to explore the idea for the film.
When I returned and watched previous films on the topic, I came to the conviction that that there was major a need for a new film to help educators teaching about the West Bank and the conflict around it. The film that I thought would be most useful would avoid polemics, a film with a non-didactic approach that looks at Palestinians and Israelis on all sides. More than three years later, I’m thrilled to have completed the film and to begin the process of engagement and outreach.
Our subjects are meant to reflect a compelling cross section of humanity: religious and secular, extremist and moderate, party faithful and freethinker. Holy Land delves into the complex ways in which religion, race, nationality, action, resistance, and conviction affect the lived realities of Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank.
I hope the film, the web site and the videos are inspiring and useful. Please feel free to contact us for any help teaching with the film.