Beginning just after the Oslo Accords were signed in September nineteen ninety three, a family in a largest refugee camp in the Gaza Strip is followed over a course of six years. Existing in poverty but sustained by love, this family lives at mercy of a turbulent political situation. While a peace accord raised hopes of liberation from long years of occupation and a creation of an independent Palestinian state, reality shatters these dreams, and people of Gaza are torn between optimism and despair.
Meanwhile, this film brings into sharp focus a reality of Israel's "legalized occupation" in a context of shattered peace, and corruption of a Palestinian National Authority that has lost its vision of "true liberation" for Palestinian people.
The homes of Palestinian residents in East Jerusalem are demolished one after another. A family whose newly built home was bulldozed by city authorities and is now forced to live in a tent is followed over a course of four years. Interviews with city officials and concerned citizens illuminate a government's strategy for an "Israelification" of Jerusalem.
A university student in the Gaza Strip engages in a suicide attack. What drove him to this act was pent up anger and despair of Palestinian people toward daily attacks, house demolitions, and killings by the Israeli army. Meanwhile, a female Israeli border police officer is severely burned in a suicide attack on a bus.
This film follows her lengthy recuperation in a hospital, supported by her family, and depicts some victims' festering distrust and anger toward Palestinians. Elsewhere, parents of a fifteen year old girl killed in a suicide attack work as peace activists, shouldering their daughter's strong desire for peace. They participate in a dialogue between bereaved Israeli and Palestinian families, but a gulf between those two groups' visions of "peace" proves difficult to bridge.
Breaking the Silence
In spring of two thousand two, the Israeli army surrounded and attacked a Balata refugee camp. A camera follows residents living in a state of terror and records their lives and feelings. A desperate situation in Jenin refugee camp after death and destruction of Israel's violent attack is also depicted, conveying a reality of "occupation."
Meanwhile, former Israeli officers and soldiers in a group called Breaking the Silence testify to a numbing of their sense of morality and ethics during service in occupied territories, and dread they feel over a loss of their humanity. They speak out from concern that some moral foundations of Israeli society and state are at risk. Some soldiers' testimony and ambivalence of their families reveal some deep shadows that an occupation has cast on Israeli society.
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About Author Aaron J. Berg
Aaron J. Berg is the creator of Reality UnKnown, host of the Reality UnKnown podcast, and blogger at RealityUnKnown.com. He started blogging and speaking against the system back in 2009. Now he blogs, podcasts, and produces video content for your benefit.