Copyright 1995 ABC-CLIO. This review was taken from the ABC-CLIO Video Rating Guide for Libraries on CD-ROM, a 5-year compilation of over 8900 video titles and reviews, 1990-1994. For information regarding order VRGL CD-ROM, contact: ABC-CLIO, P.O. Box 1911, Santa Barbara, CA 93116-1911; 805-968-1911

This following text has been included in the UCB Media Resources Center Web site with the kind permission of the publishers.

A State of Danger

  • Rating: ****
  • Audience: High School to Adult
  • Price: Public performance: $225.00
  • Date: Copyright 1989. Released 1989.
  • Descriptors: Jewish-Arab relations. Israel - Social conditions. Rebellions.
  • Production Information: Live action. Produced by Haim Bresheeth. Directed by Jenny Morgan. Sponsored by Committee for Freedom and Expression of Palestinians and Israelis. Color. 28 min.
  • Production Company: Open Space Productions
  • Available from: Women Make Movies 462 Broadway, 5th Floor New York, NY 10013 (212)925-0606
  • Cataloging: 956.053 Israel - Arab conflicts||Women, Palestinian Arab
  • Print Entry #: 1:945
  • Reviewer: Sydney Chambers

    A State of Danger depicts the conditions endured by Palestinians in Israeli-occupied territories, with the constant presence of Israeli army patrols and the possibility of arbitrary beatings, arrest, torture, and death. Filmed at the end of 1988, around the first anniversary of the Intifada, the Palestinian uprising in Israeli-occupied territories, this video presents a side of this struggle Americans do not usually see.

    Through interview and live footage of demonstrations, confrontations, and rallies, the filmmakers let Israelis and Palestinians speak for themselves. The overall effect is a moving illustration of the conflict. Comments addressed to Palestinians such as "You should all be sent to the gas chambers," from an Israeli woman, "You are a dirty people and should be exterminated," from the governor of Megiddo prison, and "We were just following orders," from an Israeli soldier accused in the beating death of a young Palestinian, are all presented without comment, but leave the viewer to draw the obvious parallels with Nazi Germany. The use of slow-motion segments, eerily silent, of army patrols is effective in evoking the constantly threatening military presence. The video does not pretend to be a history of the Intifada, nor to make judgments, but is clearly sympathetic to the Palestinian desire for self-determination. It ends on a much more optimistic note than events of recent years have borne out.

    Much of the footage was shot live, inside refugee camps, at demonstrations, and in similar difficult situations. Nonetheless, picture quality is very good. Many of the interviews or comments by participants are subtitled in English; since they are shown as light letters against a uniform dark background, they are always visible, unlike subtitling in many productions. At the very beginning of the video, the introductory text scrolled by almost too quickly to read.

    This video may provoke controversy because of its honesty and sympathy for the Palestinians living in Israeli-occupied territories. However, because of these same qualities, it provides a perspective not readily available elsewhere on video and can be used to balance a library's collection. The price for this 28-minute video seems somewhat high; nevertheless, it is an excellent value for public libraries and could be used for many high school or college level classroom situations.

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