Rachel (2010) - Rotten Tomatoes

Rachel (2010)

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RACHEL is a startlingly rigorous, fascinating and deeply moving investigatory documentary that examines the death of peace activist and International Solidarity Movement (ISM) member Rachel Corrie, who was crushed by an Israeli army bulldozer in the Gaza Strip in 2003. A few weeks after her little-reported death, an inquiry by Israeli military police concluded that Corrie died in an accident. Simone Bitton (WALL), an award-winning documentary filmmaker who is a citizen of both France and Israel, has crafted a dispassionate but devastating essay investigating the circumstances of Rachel Corrie's death-including astounding eyewitness testimony from activists, soldiers, Israeli Defense Force army spokespersons and physicians, as well as insights from Corrie's parents, mentors and diaries. In assembling a thorough and candid account of the event, using both visual and narrative evidence, Bitton's quietly persistent questioning manages to accomplish what the inadequate legal proceedings and the overheated press coverage did not: an unflinching examination that refuses to exculpate or equivocate. By aligning her filmmaking methodology with the ISM's guidelines to state only objective and concrete details without placing judgment, Bitton examines the circumstances surrounding the unresolved case of Corrie's death. The film begins like a classic documentary, but soon develops, transcending its subject and establishing a candid new visual approach for bearing witness. With understated cinematic techniques, Bitton captures the spirit of Rachel's youth, idealism, and political commitment amidst sweeping landscapes of Gaza and a portrait of daily life under ever-present military aggression. -- (C) Women Make Movies

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Critic Reviews for Rachel

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (3)

Fascinating if uneven...

October 8, 2010 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Rachel is an example of how to tell a complicated, controversial story without sacrificing humanity, heart or a sense of horror.

October 6, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Bitton, thorough in her research, shows but never tells, letting the evidence speak for itself.

October 5, 2010 | Full Review…

The film tries so hard to emulate cold court testimony that it misses a crucial fact. A girl died.

February 25, 2011 | Full Review…

A poignant documentary about the death of an American idealist working for the liberation of the Palestinian people and peace in the Middle-East.

October 26, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

It's impressive that documentarian Simone Bitton manages to remain neutral for so much of her film.

October 14, 2010 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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