Tectonic Plates and Other Metaphors…

After almost six months of banging around, from googleworld to Hebron to Tekoa to Migron to Nabi Saleh and back, we are close to going into full bore production. I’ll be back in Israel by Saturday. We start shooting in January. Here is our first official succinct summation of purpose:

Change has come with stunning speed to the Middle East. Dictators have fallen. Iran looms. And the Palestinians have demanded statehood. But in Israel, the status quo seems entrenched. Netanyahu and his coalition hold sway . The settlements expand. The Israeli military presence in the West Bank continues.

It seems that one tectonic plate shifts, while the other remains fixed. An earthquake may very well be at hand — possibly a regional war, or a Third Intifada, or an outright Israeli annexation of occupied territories.

“Holy Land” goes to the likely epicenter of this earthquake, the West Bank, where 350,000 Israelis live in 120 settlements planted among 1.9 million Palestinians. Palestinians and most of the world declare that settlement expansion is the major obstacle to peace. The Israeli government and the politically powerful settlers regard the settlements as biblical destiny and push forward with their vision of “all of Israel” for the Jews.

The film focuses equally on Palestinians and Israelis, with three main characters on each side. They roughly fall into three categories: extremist, moderate, and new generation activist. They are all idealists, currently engaged in stories of struggle, dedicated to making a difference. They are not necessarily do gooders — rather, they are people willing to sacrifice for a cause in which they deeply believe.