Reel Struggles For Justice

There are civilian peacemakers in Israel and Palestine that the international media never covers. In the documentary Budrus, Brazilian-born filmmaker Julia Bacha tells the story of locals and activists involved in nonviolent protest against an Israeli government decision to build a barrier wall in the small Palestinian village of the title. Becky Garrison, author of Jesus Died For This?, caught a press screening of Budrus, a film New York Times' columnist Nicholas Kristof dubbed "this year's must-see documentary," and spoke with Bacha about the film and her organization Just Vision at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival in New York City.

Becky Garrison: What is the history and mission of Just Vision?

Julia Bacha: The overwhelming coverage [of the Middle East] for the past six decades focuses on the militants and politicians and ignores the actions of civilians. Just Vision was created about seven years ago to bring the stories from Israeli and Palestinian civil society that we are not getting into the international and U.S. mainstream media.

How do you select the films you will produce?

When we set out to do a film, we meet with dozens of people and follow several stories at the same time. Gradually we select the stories we believe are the most urgent for people to hear. For Budrus, I met with people from dozens of villages in the West Bank and asked them, "Who are the three people you most admire who are doing this work?"

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Sojourners Magazine December 2010
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