This documentary film by Simone Bitton is a critical, in-depth look at the life and tragic death of Rachel Corrie, the American activist killed in Gaza in 2003 by a Caterpillar bulldozer operated by the Israeli military. Rachel, working with the International Solidarity Movement, was killed while trying to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian family's home. The film examines Rachel's life and activism, as well as the inadequate military investigation into her death.
Cindy Corrie, Rachel Corrie's mother, in person at the Castro.
In a now-infamous incident in 2003, Rachel Corrie, a 22-year-old peace activist from the Pacific Northwest, attempted to stop a bulldozer operated by the Israeli military from demolishing homes and other buildings in Gaza. Corrie was struck and killed in what some witnesses claimed was a deliberate action, but what an Israeli inquiry ruled was a tragic accident. Simone Bitton (Wall, SFJFF 2005), a veteran documentary filmmaker who is a citizen of both France and Israel, has crafted a dispassionate but devastating essay investigating the circumstances of Rachel Corrie’s death—including astounding eyewitness testimony from activists, soldiers, army spokespersons and physicians, as well as insights from Corrie’s parents, mentors and diaries. In assembling a thorough and candid account of the event, using both visual and narrative evidence, Bitton’s quietly persistent questioning manages to accomplish what the inadequate legal proceedings and the overheated press coverage did not: an unflinching examination that refuses to exculpate or equivocate. But Bitton’s nonfiction essay is hardly a bloodless tract—in fact, even as it raises troubling questions about the Israeli military’s candor, it also manages to paint a complex portrait of a young, perhaps naive, idealist and the high price some pay in the name of committed activism.
—Peter L. Stein
Added to the calendar on Tuesday Jul 14th, 2009 9:00 PM