Documentary – Checkpoint (2003)

Filmed during 2001-2003, this cinema shows  the subjugation of ordinary Palestinians at Israeli checkpoints doesn’t spend time discussing the historical context of the conflict. Instead, the intent is to show viewers, without much meddling by the voice of the filmmaker Yoav Shamir, the power dynamics enforced at the checkpoints that choke the infrastructure of Palestinian society.

The simplest of activities are made impossible by Israeli soldiers, who are documented in the film as sometimes denying Palestinians movement just because they can. Palestinian men, women, and children – healthy, frail, old, and young – are forced to wait in bitter thunderstorms, snow, and the heat to get to hospitals, schools, funerals, jobs, and their homes.

Because the film focuses on just this one aspect of the conflict – the checkpoints – the full horrors of the Israeli military occupation, like the violence that usually makes the news, aren’t readily apparent. But it vividly demonstrates the banality of the occupation – the waiting, the frustration, the struggle of wills between the Palestinian population and the barely out of high-school Israeli boys who operate the checkpoints – the only Israelis most Palestinians will ever meet.  (excerpt from the electronic intifada)

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