Credits


Director
Tim Webster

Co-director
Ernesto Cabellos

Running time
20 minutes

Country of production
Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year of production
2020

Until the last drop

Until the last drop is an intimate documentary from Reelmedia Film that shows the different realities faced by Palestinian and Israeli farmers in accessing water.

Shot in Area C of the West Bank, we follow Abu and Eli as they struggle and prosper in one of the most contested lands in the world.

The film 20 minute documentary short film is distributed by Together Films. You can download the press kit, read more about the film and watch the trailer below.


The story


The West Bank has been home to Palestinian communities like Al Hadidiya for decades. Since its occupation in 1967, Israel has made it increasingly difficult for communities like Al Haddidya to access and maintain water systems. Whilst an abundance of water allows families and businesses to thrive, shortages have critical impacts on agriculture, livestock and households.

The West Bank is divided into 3 areas, Area A, B and C. Area C is under full Israeli military and civilian control. The land here is desiccated – fertile, but thirsty for irrigation to support agricultural growth. For centuries, Palestinians have sourced water through hundreds of rainwater wells on the land. Under Israel’s control however, there has been a strategic demolition of wells and Abu, for example, is prevented from renovating them. These water scarce conditions make life difficult for Abu. Without enough water, crops are poor, and he often only harvests enough to feed his animals. Most of all, he worries about the future of his children and their ability to endure such conditions indefinitely.

Living North of Abu, also in Area C, Eli Gilad of the Israeli community of Masua enjoys ample water access. Eli manages a vast date plantation with thousands of trees, each tree requiring a thousand litres of water per day. Israeli policy means that Eli, like other Israeli settlers, can access millions of litres of water a day, helping him to produce dates on a commercial scale which are exported internationally. Eli not only benefits from a well-irrigated plantation, he keeps an aquarium of tropical fish and a zoo, brimming with exotic birds, all made possible by an abundance of water.

Despite being physically connected to the same land, the two farmer’s experiences are unequal and detached. However, despite the odds and an uncertain future for his children Abu is determined to keep farming and keep resisting, until the last drop.

"I will stay here resisting until the last drop."

Abu Saqer, Palestinian Farmer

Abu Saquer - Palestinian


Abu Saqer, 70, is a farmer, self-proclaimed philosopher and respected leader of the Al Haddidya community and wider area., which lies to the south of the West Bank. He was born close to where he now lives – an area south of Area C of the West Bank. Since the Israeli Civil Authority destroyed his permanent home 5 years ago, he now lives in the same place, in a series of tents with his wife, sons and daughters.

Access to water is a key source of conflict and tension in Area C, with many Palestinians not having reliable access to a water source. Abu, like many others, waits for hours to fill his truck up from the leaking pipes of Israeli water tanks. This clandestine water-collection greatly affects the Palestinian community’s ability to compete with the industrial farming techniques of the Israeli settlements. Abu believes that the restriction of water is a determined strategy to make living conditions so unbearable that Palestinians choose to leave the West Bank of their own accord.

"I am not willing to give up the Jordan Valley."

Eli Gilad, Israeli Farmer

Eli Gilad, Israeli


Eli Gilad lives in the Masua Settlement, also in Area C of the West Bank. His mother narrowly escaped from Auschwitz after becoming ill and being taken to hospital. His mother and father met in Hungary and, after giving birth to Eli, moved to Israel in 1977 to start a new life. Eli worked with them in searing heat, to transform the land from an arid, rocky area, to fields of vegetables. In the 1980s Eli and his family turned to dates and began an ambitious project, comprising thousands of date trees, irrigated by a computerised system and fed from an uphill grey-water reservoir. The communities drinking water is piped from Jerusalem by the Israeli, national water company, Mekorot.

Eli is a farmer who enjoys a comfortable life with a good income. He is able to travel freely and often takes holidays abroad with his family. He is passionate about animals and keeps exotic snakes and fish in his date factory. At home, he has built a community zoo, full of exotic birds.

Background


The Jordan Valley is the deepest valley in the world, with land so rich and fertile that it has the potential to become the Palestinian breadbasket. In 1967, Israel occupied the West Bank, and has actively prevented the construction and maintenance of Palestinian water systems ever since. As a result, Palestinian communities like Al Hadidiya have access to as little as 20 litres of water per person per day, while Israelis enjoy up to 460 litres of water per person per day. With occupation authorities systematically denying Palestinians the right to build any permanent structures, roads, or schools, conditions have become so uninhabitable that many Palestinians have no choice but to leave Area C, further advancing Israel’s land takeover and the expansion of its settlements.

Distribution


Until the last drop is due to be released by Together Films in 2020. For distribution or screening enquiries please email: twebster@reelmediafilm.com