October 16, 2012


Palestine Is Still the Issue (John Pilger - 2002), 51 minutes

John Pilger made the film Palestine Is Still The Issue in 1977. It told how almost a million Palestinians had been forced off their land in 1948, and again in 1967. Twenty five years later, John Pilger returns to the West Bank of Jordan and Gaza, and to Israel, to ask why the Palestinians, whose right of return was affirmed by the United Nations more than half a century ago, are still caught in a terrible limbo - refugees in their own land, controlled by Israel in the longest military occupation in modern times.

“If we are to speak of the great injustice here, nothing has changed,” says Pilger at the start of the film, “What has changed is that the Palestinians have fought back. Stateless and humiliated for so long, they have risen up against Israel’s huge military regime, although they themselves have no army, no tanks, no American planes and gunships or missiles. Some have committed desperate acts of terror, like suicide bombing. But, for Palestinians, the overriding, routine terror, day after day, has been the ruthless control of almost every aspect of their lives, as if they live in an open prison. This film is about the Palestinians and a group of courageous Israelis united in the oldest human struggle, to be free.”

Pilger distills the history of Palestine during the twentieth century into an easily comprehensible struggle for land - the loss of seventy-eight per cent of that belonging to Palestinians when the state of Israel was founded in 1948 and their claim to only the remaining twenty-two per cent, which had for thirty-five years been occupied by Israel.

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This is probably the best documentary I’ve seen on the Israel-Palestine Conflict for those who do not know a lot about the region since the film gives a concise overview of the conflict in a very objective point of view. Pilger interviews Israelis and Palestinians, both affected by the violence of the conflict including a father whose young daughter was killed in a suicide bombing who sees the occupation as the real cause. 

(Source: mizoguchi)

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