An unprecedented documentary about a dramatic and tumultuous year in the West Bank, the film zeroes in on the explosive issue of the Israeli settlements. Its protagonists are both Israeli settlers and the Israelis and Palestinians who oppose them. They are idealists pursuing conflicting visions of justice, heroes or villains depending on your perspective.
Director/producer Peter Cohn comes to the story with an outsider’s unaffiliated perspective, gaining intimate access to the lives of key players on both sides. They include an Orthodox Israeli settler, a young Palestinian journalist, an unconventional settler rabbi, and the progressive mayor of a Palestinian town. It’s a cross section of the West Bank never seen in one film: right and left, secular and religious, extremists and those who are seeking a third way.
As the action shifts from Palestinian villages to Israeli settlements, there are many unexpected turns: blood is shed, loved ones are lost, and homes are destroyed. It’s also a film about families with children growing up and grandfathers facing death, of generational passage in a land of conflict and faith, and of the rhythms of life in a majestic landscape of mountains, deserts, vineyards and olive orchards.
“Holy Land” offers a comprehensive look at politics and society in the West Bank. The story is gripping, action-packed and ultimately hopeful. Non-didactic and unflinching, “Holy Land” is a film that challenges conventional viewpoints about the Israel-Palestine conflict.