Socialist Worker

Crawl though barbed wire just to reach your own home

by Amy Leather
Issue No. 1929


Directed by Simone Bitton

WALL BEGAN as a personal response by Simone Bitton to the construction by the Israeli state of the separation fence through the West Bank.

Bitton was born in Morocco and her parents emigrated to Israel. She considers herself both Jew and Arab—but the film is much more than an individual’s meditation.

It captures the stark reality of a country being physically cut in two and, through conversations with ordinary people, shows how this impacts on the lives of ordinary Palestinians and Israelis.

The film captures the dignity of the Palestinians waiting at checkpoints, and shows how disrupted their lives are.

It also shows their determination not to be separated from their land.

Some of the most striking scenes show ordinary men, women and children sneaking through gaps in the wall, or through barbed wire, just to get to work or back to their homes.

All the while Israeli helicopters fly above and soldiers patrol with guns.

Wall is a beautifully shot, slow paced film which uses long shots— ideal for cinema.

These capture images that linger in the viewer’s mind.

Rather than set piece interviews, the voices heard are the ordinary people the film crew met as they journeyed along the wall.

Not all the people heard are actually seen, since the focus of the camera is on the wall itself. Even in shots focusing on individuals, we see a background of the ominous wall, bulldozers, watchtowers and soldiers.

Through the interviews with Palestinian farmers we gain an understanding that the construction of the wall is a method for Israel to grab even more land from the Palestinians.

As the wall has encroached into Palestinian territory, it has also meant Palestinian villages being cut off from their land.

In all one million trees (10 percent of the total) are inaccessible to their owners. The wall will not solve any of the problems created in the Middle East—it will exacerbate them.

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Sat 27 Nov 2004, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1929
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