Sunday, May 2, 2010


Budrus is a Palestinian village of 1,500 on the West Bank. The Israelis arrive to to build the security fence - well beyond the 'Green Line' marking the boundary between Israel and the Palestinian territory on the West Bank. This will result in the residents of Budrus losing land and olive groves they depend on for their livelihood.

A leader in the village inspires non-violent resistance. At first the protests involve only the men of the village, but they are soon joined by the women. As word of the protests spreads, some international sympathizers join the protesters. But the tide really turns when Israeli activists arrive to stand side by side with the Palestinians. The Israeli Border Patrol is reluctant to do anything that would result in Israelis being hurt, and many cameras documenting the action serve to keep the army's actions moderated. Frustrated youth finally break ranks and start throwing rocks at the Israeli armored vehicles. But the threat of chaos breaking out is averted and the protest continues mostly peacefully.

Ultimately, the Israelis decide to move the placement of the fence near Budrus. By the, the protests have spread to other villages where the fence has swung substantially within Palestinian territory, and the fence ultimately gets built very close to the Green Line. The Israelis state the change is not due to the protests. As the Billy Joel lyrics to She's Only a Woman go - "she never gives in, she just changes her mind."

The film was created from the film taken by many different people over the course of the protests and was supported by the work of Just Vision (click here for their web site). For those sensitive to hand-held cameras, be warned that some portions of the film are subject to considerable motion.

I would recommend Budrus to anyone who has a chance to see it. It's a heart-warming tale of how non-violence can be effective, and how supposedly antagonistic people can work together in common cause.

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