Until the last drop
Documentary. One land. Two realities.
The Jordan Valley is the deepest valley in the world, with land so rich and fertile it once was the Palestinian breadbasket. In 1967, Israel occupied the West Bank, and has actively prevented the construction and maintenance of Palestinian water systems ever since. Peace between Israel and Palestine is nearly impossible so long as Palestinians are refused access to land, resources, and autonomy over construction rights and laws. Water equality therefore remains a distant hope for many Palestinians in the West Bank.
We were asked by Oxfam in the Occupied Palestinian Territories to craft a cinema quality documentary film, that told the story of accessing water in the West Bank from both Israeli and Palestinian perspectives. Working with local fixers we set out to find our characters, develop the story and find creative and poetic ways to relay the issue of water to a film festival audience. The result was an observational documentary film that has won multiple awards.
What did we do? Research • Story development • Creative development • Filming logistics • Documentary film production • Film editing • Film festival submission • Distribution
“The Palestinian is targeted through water, which is the pillar of life and he will stay here resisting until the last drop.”
– Abu Saqer.
Abu Saqer, 70, is a shepherd and farmer, self-proclaimed philosopher and respected leader of the Al Haddidya community and the wider area, which lies south of the West Bank. Scarce water conditions make life difficult for Abu. Without enough water, crop yields are poor, and he often only harvests enough to feed his animals. Most of all, he worries about his children’s future and their ability to endure such conditions indefinitely.
Living North of Abu and also in Area C, Eli Gilad is an Israeli settler. Despite living on occupied Palestinian land, he 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 produce dates on a commercial scale which are exported internationally.
“I’m not willing to give up the Jordan Valley, but whatever will be will be. No-one can tell what will happen.”
– Eli Gilad.
The final 20-minute, observational documentary received over 15 international awards and festival screenings, including Best Foreign Documentary and Best Cinematography. The film is also being distributed online by Journeyman Pictures.