Burdrus is a Palestinian village, thirty-one kilometres north-west of Ramallah. There are just under one-and-a-half thousand people living here. Budrus came to the attention of the world at large in 2003 when the Israeli government decided to erect a barrier in the form of a fence or wall which, among other things, was to run straight through Budrus. As a result, the village was to become the site of some remarkable protests.
For her film, Julia Bacha, who has followed events in Budrus for the past five years, has chosen to focus on Palestinian activist Ayed Morrar and his fifteen-year-old daughter, Iltezam. By portraying the events largely through their eyes, the viewer is able to understand the reasons for the commitment displayed by the people of Budrus. The barrier, which was to be built on their land, their fields and their plantations, posed a serious threat to the villagers’ means of existence.
Ayed Morrar’s organisation of the protests is an extraordinary feat. Not only does he manage to bring together competing Palestinian organisations Hamas and Fatah, but hundreds of Israeli citizens also take part in the peaceful protest actions, as do members of the international peace movement. Nobody, however, can prevent these peaceful, non-violent demonstrations from being the target of aggressive reactions on the part of Israeli soldiers.