The Israel Documentary — Day One

August 11, 2011 blog 0 Comments

This project, and this web site, launched on Friday, August 12 when my son Ben and I left for Tel Aviv to begin research for my new film project, a documentary about the settlements in Israel. Ben, who just turned 15, came along to help out.

Why a film about the settlements? It seems an unlikely follow up to my last project, “Power and Control: Domestic Violence in America.”  But I see it as a perfectly logical next step. My passion is to make films that explore complex social and political issues, and the Israeli settlements are certainly a complex issue. I also look to tell stories about people who take risks and make extraordinary commitments, and there are many of them in Israel and the West Bank, on both sides.

For the Israel project (modestly being called “The Israel Documentary), our first priority is to find settlers who can be our main subjects. The second thing is to understand the issues, and to meet the people who have dedicated their life to it, on all sides.

It will be an intense five days.  Two days in Tel Aviv — for some meetings and a chance to observe the demonstrations..   Then three days in Jerusalem and the West Bank.   All energy devoted to finding the story.

My fear is that I’m too naive, with no experience in the Middle East. I’ve already been told it’s impossible not to take sides. We’ll see if I can fight against that rule, in an effort to give voice to everyone.