Cert: TBC Runtime: 84 mins Director: Amos Giati
As part of the Director’s Fortnight West of the Jordan River is Amos Giati’s return to the occupied territories since 1992. Wadi 1981-1991 was his first piece, now we get a retrospective of if there is change in 25 years. Amos Giati is showing how regular citizens are trying to build bridges between the Israelis and Palestinians. Along with the people of the territories Giati tackles politicians, the military and activists. West of the Jordan River was an interesting retrospect, as I have not seen Wadi 1981-1991 I can’t really comment on any comparisons. One essential aspect of the film is that you will need some kind of knowledge of the issues in the territories. Giati’s interview techniques are very concise, stern and authoritative. Truly he doesn’t stick to conventional journalistic methods, he gets the answers you are wanting with no B.S. He has a very haunting look in his eyes when he interviews, it can be quite sinister. Probably this is how he gets such rigorous responses.
What is humbling about West of The Jordan River is sense of community between some Israelis and Palestinians. Some people are trying to reach out to their fellow man and live harmoniously. Surely if the people are ready for this, why can’t both sides compromise? If it was that simple I guess. It seems like the stalemate between both sides is in an eternal limbo, and bloodshed is still causing a lot of hurt between both side. Giati is really trying to show us that if the people can unify, these communities can provide a platform to peace. As positive as I sound, West of the Jordan River wasn’t for me. It grabbed my attention but it isn’t my style of documentary. What irritated most was the music, during every chapter was the same melody. It was unbearable at sometimes! West of the Jordan River was a shade to long if you ask me, a 60 minute documentary would of sufficed. But it’s message was very potent!