This balanced documentary tells stories from both sides of the divide and finds cause for optimism amid the longstanding anger and despair
This carefully measured documentary splices together archive material, dramatic recreations and extensive talking-head interviews to unravel the stories of Palestinians and Israelis, speaking in English, Arabic and Hebrew, who ended up becoming combatants against one another in a conflict that has been playing out for generations. As you would expect, it’s a steady procession of stories about anger provoked by atrocities on both sides, battles fought, won and lost and growing despair over whether there will ever be away out of the cycle of violence.
Only around the halfway mark is it revealed that all the interviewees are part of a nonviolent organisation called Combatants for Peace. The group seeks to unite fighters from both sides to mount protests and express their joint commitment to a two-state solution. Inspired in part by South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the sharing of these personal narratives aims to create deeper understanding and empathy. Inspiring, hopeful stuff to be sure, told in the Errol Morris style, with its bricolage of images and voices, although there is still a palpable sense of just how big a challenge remains.