Shimon Dutan and Face2Face host David Peck talk about the “settlement enterprise”, racism, empathy, the West Bank and absolutes, Israel and why there’s reason for hope.
Of the grievances and grudges that plague the Middle East, no issue is more incendiary than the Jewish-only settlements that have dotted the occupied West Bank for a half-century.
Canadian/Israeli Shimon Dotan’s acclaimed documentary The Settlers sets out to illustrate – through first-person accounts, historical footage and expert witness – how 400,000 motivated Israelis ended up in communities almost strategically placed between, and sometimes within, Arab Palestinian cities populated by the millions. It is a confounding tale of religious zeal and secular hatred, where an olive tree is an amorphous territorial border, and the burial of a stillborn baby amounts to a claim of political sovereignty over a city.
A Fellow of the New York Institute of the Humanities, he is an award-winning filmmaker with thirteen feature films to his credit. His films have been the recipients of the Silver Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival (The Smile of the Lamb), numerous Israeli Academy Awards, including Best Film and Best Director (Repeat Dive; The Smile of the Lamb), Best Film at the Newport Beach Film Festival (You Can Thank Me Later) and the Special Jury Prize at Sundance (Hot House).
Dotan has taught political cinema at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute of New York University since 2003. He also teaches at The New School in New York City. He has previously taught at Tel Aviv University and at Concordia University in Montreal.
Dotan is the writer and director of The Settlers, which had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2016, and opened in Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City on March 17.
You can listen to David Peck at DavidPeckLive.com