The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Explored in the Documentary, Budrus, by Julia Bachas

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The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the most well known and least understood conflicts in modern times. In order to cast light on this ever-evolving situation, Julia Bachas investigates the conflict and the power of nonviolent resistance, through her documentary Budrus. By examining the way a small group of Palestinians was able to protest and ultimately prevent the installation of a security fence through the occupied territories, we are given a progressive, positive model for future resistance.
While designed to illicit both greater knowledge of, and sympathy for, the plight of the Palestinians in Budrus, the film is not at all one-sided. Julia Bachas largely lays the allocation of "right and wrong" to the audience, allowing
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The residents of Budrus identify themselves with their land, especially the olive trees they have been cultivating for generations, as exemplified by the naming of the trees for their mothers. They serve as a poignant symbol for the Palestinians seeking to prevent separation by the fence from their cultural heritage.
Next, we are introduced to Ayed Morrar, a former Fatah activist who has spent his life involved with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In his youth, Ayer became involved with the Palestinian resistance movement but we come to learn that he never felt confident or comfortable with traditional models of resistance. Through seeing these methods as unable to cope with the encroaching Security Fence, Morrar helps organize a town meeting to lie out his plans for a new strategy - nonviolent civil disobedience.
The Security Fence is slated to be built within Palestinian land instead of along the internationally recognized Green Line, and will divide the town from its agricultural lands, as well as running through the middle of its cemetery and schools. This is unacceptable to Ayed Morrar and his fellow residents of Budrus. Morrar sympathizes with the Israeli desire to protect their citizens from violence, but sees the encroachment of the fence as an equally violent action demanding a response - but how to respond? In the town meeting, Morrar presents two

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