Until When The Horrors of the Israeli Occupation
By Carole Seligman
Until When... is a really terrific documentary film that both reveals the horrors of the Israeli occupation and, at the same time, allows the viewers to learn a lot about individual Palestinians and their families. The Palestinians speak for themselves, right into the camerato us. They are articulate, warm, and absolutely committed to their rights to return to their ancestral homes (from which their families have been forcibly expelled).
The warm memories of their villages, farms, and orchards has been kept alive through three generations by the teaching and stories told by parents to children, to grandchildren. The theme that ties all the participants in this documentary together is the fierce desire for Palestinianseven those who have been born and raised in refugee campsto return to the homes and lands from which they have been expelled.
The political situation is presented as intensely personal in this film. The Palestinians tell us their history, their hopes for the future, their relation to the struggle for self-determination. Amazingly, there are many moments of joy and even laughter in this film because the people who speak are full of life.
One young boy, Fadi, 13 years old, but as mature as a grown man, explains the Palestinian struggle with depth and clarity. His young brothers, for whom he takes full responsibility while his mother works cleaning the homes of Jewish settlers occupying Palestinian lands near the Dheisheh Refugee Camp (near Bethlehem) where they live, are full of youthful energy and joy and alternately express the contradictory longings to live and to become martyrs for Palestinian freedom. One of the films producers, Jess Ghannam, who was at the screening July 15 in San Francisco, explained that the father of this beautiful family had been assassinated by Israel.
The women and girls who speak to us through this film are brilliant role models for young women. They are articulate, sensible, hard-working, and dedicated to the freedom struggle. This is a must-see film for anyone who seeks to gain understanding of Palestinian perspectives and anyone who enjoys an excellent documentary film for the unique ways it can help us to understand critical and complex issues. Until When... helps us to understand the results of the displacement of a whole people by the Zionist project of placing a Jewish state (which exists only because of U.S. support) in the midst of Palestine.
Arabic with English subtitles, 76 minutes.
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