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Critic Reviews for Budrus
This all goes on until Bacha either runs out of budget, patience or film, and ends up cutting to the somewhat positive results.
No one can believe that "Budrus" is showing us the key to peace in the Middle East. But any positive note about this most intractable of conflicts should be savored.
Bacha, who worked on the impressive 2004 documentary "Control Room," does well to focus on one tiny town and its leading citizens; "Budrus" is at its best when she keeps the scale small.
Uncertain which approach to use, the filmmakers try a little of everything: sit-down interviews, in-the-moment footage, sentimental close-ups. A patient, on-the-ground approach would mostly have sufficed. But the movie is fascinating anyway.
For those who despair of ever seeing peace in the Middle East, Budrus offers both sobering and cheering evidence that progress is possible.
Audience Reviews for Budrus
Ayed Morrar organizes a Gandhi-esque resistance to Israeli expansion into Palestine.
This powerful documentary captures the strength of the Palestinian people and serves as a welcome response to those critics who argue that the Palestinians exclusively resist their colonization through violence. Morrar emerges as a simple, honest, and austere man, and though the film drags at times, the overall message rings resoundingly.
Overall, it's good to see a positive story of resistance coming from this area of intractable differences.
"Budrus" is an illuminating documentary on many levels. To start, it is about everyday life and the complicated politics of the Occupied West Bank that we rarely get to see. Ayed Morrar lives with his family in the small village of Budrus that is in the path of the proposed security wall, meant to keep Israel safe from terrorists. With views from people in both Israel and the West Bank, nobody disputes the need for the wall, even though I could think of a few reasons off the top of my head. What is under dispute is the path of the wall as it cuts deeply into Palestine, including the cemetary in Budrus, and would call for the destruction of vast amounts of olive trees that the village relies on for their livelihood. As a result, Ayed arranges for peaceful protests that first only consist of men, with the women joining them later. The protests are not for the weak of heart as injuries are possible as the protestors have to face down not only construction equipment but soldiers deployed to defend them with rubber bullets and tear gas.(Actually, Ayed has spent time in jail and as a fugitive for being a activist.) The protests get much more attention from the press corps when they are joined by international activists. Then, Israeli activists join the cause which is the most important development of them all. Because now it is now longer just "us" versus "them," as the pronouns get dropped and the villagers become friends with people they could never have imagined befriending. At this point, I realize just about anything is possible.
In this beautifully structured documentary, the viewer follows the people of Budrus from the timeless beauty of their olive groves into the line of Israeli fire, as tension builds and culminates in dramatic conflict between a steadily growing group of unarmed protesters, and the bulldozing Israeli Defense Force.
Although it would be justifiable to tell this story solely from a Palestinian vantage point, the filmmakers lend even more credibility to the voice of Ayed Morrar, the film's Palestinian protagonist, by respectfully and thoroughly presenting Israeli points of view throughout the film. Soldiers, captains, newscasters and politicians weigh in from the other side of the "wall-in-progress", while back in Budrus - a heroine emerges. Morrar's 15 year old daughter Iltezam is caught on camera jumping into a bulldozer's newly dug pit, to prevent the uprooting of yet another olive tree, as her voice-over describes what was going through her head: "what can one person do?" This heartbreaking, but ultimately uplifting documentary answers that impossible question, by demonstrating the power of peaceful resistance - even in the face of seemingly never ending aggression.
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