12 minutes ago
Last night I went to watch ‘Unsettled’, a documentary by @iris_zaki , an Israeli filmmaker. The film was beautifully shot; soft, still and calming. Shot entirely in Tekoa, an illegal Jewish settlement in the West Bank, Zaki interviews the residents about their lives as settlers. The words of some of the interviewees are in stark contrast to the cinematography; one woman proudly declares herself a facist. With all documentaries, it could only be a small snapshot into the lives of Settlers. Zaki attended the screening last night at @icalondon , and had a Q&A after the film, explaining how she interviewed 40 residents but only featured 6 in her film. I enjoyed the film, however, as I walked to the tube station, I felt disappointed that a filmmaker with privilege and power to document the human rights violations of these Settlers, completely ignored the very real violence of the conflict. The murder of a 15 year old Palestinian boy was mentioned with the voiceover of the news. However, it was overshadowed with the murder of an Israeli Rabbi, whose daughter lived in Tekoa. I felt the film almost centred on the humanising and sympathising with the ‘hard life’ of Settlers. It was at complete odds with the Settlers I had met when visiting Palestine last year. Of course, we can’t tarnish all Settlers with the same brush, yet when you live on stolen land, it’s hard to forgive one for their decision to stay despite their ‘non-violent’ actions. Their existence, the existence of Settlements themselves, is violence in my opinion. I felt like the film killed me into a false sense of security - I felt manipulated into being told that Settlers, though facist, racist and problematic, are not violent, are “humanised” in the sense that they cannot be blamed if we see their face. Anyway - I found Iris Zaki to be open and wanting to make a real difference through her work.
More importantly! Here is a photo of baby Awdah, a Bedouin boy living next to a Illegal Jewish settlement. In my next post, I’ll describe the experiences of Settlers from the Palestinian point of view.