Billowing smoke pours from a bus, as a fire crew attempts to douse the flames. Long, aching lines of motionless vehicles sit at one of Israel’s hated checkpoints. Two men habitually pray on the road alongside their stopped car. A lone helicopter hovers overhead, reinforcing the reality of perpetual occupation.
Roads Through Palestine is a cinematic portrait of life in the West Bank, and an intimate reflection on the geography of war. The short film, directed by Brett Story with music by Stefan Christoff, features scenes that are eerie and evocative, yet painfully commonplace.
Having spent time in the West Bank myself, I recalled the outrage I felt every time I was trapped at the checkpoint, where a handful of teenaged occupiers unjustly stood between us travelers and our destinations. But the feel of the 11-minute piece, with its muted colours and choppy, slow motion picture, more closely reflects the banal humiliation suffered by the Palestinian people day in and day out, for whom occupation is not a novelty, but a 40-year curse.
Roads Through Palestine will be screened in Montreal on Saturday, December 12 as part of Madinat Montréal, a solidarity evening organized by Tadamon. For more information on the night of music, film and food visit Tadamon’s website.