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From the field

“Of Land and Bread”: B’Tselem-produced documentary to premiere at IDFA

The first full-length documentary film produced by B’Tselem, “Of Land and Bread,” directed by the head of the organization’s video department, Ehab Tarabieh, will premiere at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam (IDFA). The world premiere will take place tonight, November 24, with additional screenings scheduled later this week as part of the festival.

The film offers an unmediated view of life under Israel’s occupation. It is comprised entirely of documentary footage from B’Tselem’s video archive, and shows Palestinian daily life governed by Israeli state violence. This violence is carried out by uniformed soldiers and police, but also by Israeli settlers acting under their protection and with the backing of the state. It is a story of a vulnerable life, with no political rights or the right to protest, a life on the receiving end of the project of dispossession of land and resources which is the Israeli occupation, and where one’s only defense is the camera.

In 2007 B’Tselem launched its Camera Project, providing video cameras and training to Palestinian volunteers in the West Bank to document their own lives under the Israeli occupation. Since then, the images taken by its volunteers have become a staple of B’Tselem’s reporting. The organization now manages an extensive and unique video archive of thousands of hours of carefully cataloged raw material captured by B’Tselem staff and volunteers over the past decade.

Ehab Tarabieh was born in 1982 in Majdal Shams. In 2010, he joined the video department of B’Tselem, and has been the department’s director since 2016. His short narrative film, “The Forgotten,” won the Best Short Film Award at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival in 2012. In 2014, he co-directed the B’Tselem-produced short documentary “Smile and the World Will Smile Back.” The film premiered at the 2014 Berlinale Shorts Competition and was screened at many festivals worldwide, including Hot Docs and Clermont-Ferrand. In 2014, it received the Best Short Film Award at the Milano Film Festival and, in 2015, was nominated for Best Short Film at the 28th European Film Awards.


Director and Editor: Ehab Tarabieh

Produced by: B’Tselem and Ehab Tarabieh

Photographers: Muhammad Hamouda, Nariman Abu Hayah, Mahmoud Abu Hayah, Imad Abu Shamsiyeh, Raed Abu Rmeileh, Tariq Hadhalin, Nahla Mahmoud, Nasser a-Nawaj’ah, Jamal a-Nawaj’ah, Ahmad Ziyadah, Shadi Sider, Zidan Sharabati, Abd Al Alim Salaymeh, Suheir Fakhoury, Musa Abu Hashhash, Mai Da’na, Nayef Da’na, Muhammad ‘Awad, Ahmad Jundiyah, Manal Al-Ja’bri