Distributor:  Bullfrog Films
Length:  53 minutes
Date:  2002
Genre:  Expository
Language:  English; Arabic
Grade level: 10-12, College, Adult
Color/BW:  Color
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Palestine Is Still The Issue

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John Pilger returns to the Middle East and questions why there has been no progress towards peace.

Palestine Is Still The Issue

In 1977, the award-winning journalist and film-maker, John Pilger, made a documentary called Palestine Is Still The Issue (1977). He told how almost a million Palestinians had been forced off their land in 1948, and again in 1967. In this in-depth documentary, he has returned to the West Bank of the Jordan and Gaza, and to Israel, to ask why the Palestinians, whose right of return was affirmed by the United Nations more than half a century ago, are still caught in a terrible limbo -- refugees in their own land, controlled by Israel in the longest military occupation in modern times.

'The fate and struggle of the Palestinians,' says Pilger, 'are not just critical to the overdue recognition of their basic human rights, but are also central to whether the region, and the wider world, are plunged into war. Israel is now one of the biggest military powers in the world. While nothing changes, the dangers become greater. This is a film about a nation of people, traumatized, humiliated and yet resilient. In trying to liberate less than a quarter of historic Palestine, they have had no army, no air force, and no powerful friends -- and have fought back with slingshots and now with the terrorism of the suicide bombers.'

In a series of extraordinary interviews with both Palestinians and Israelis, John Pilger weaves together the issue of Palestine. He speaks to the families of suicide bombers and their victims; he sees the humiliation of Palestinians imposed on them at myriad checkpoints and with a permit system not dissimilar to apartheid South Africa's infamous pass laws. He goes into the refugee camps and meets children who, he says, 'no longer dream like other children, or if they do, it is about death.'

Continually asking for the solution, John Pilger says it is time to bring justice, as well as peace, to Palestine.

'[Pilger] allows the viewer to hear candid and powerful statements that it is vital for outsiders to hear. I would advise professors: If you don't have time to show the entire video in your class, at least show your students the first fifteen minutes. The frank comments by both Palestinians and Israelis...will provide the basis for a spirited debate among the students for the remainder of the class period.' Ann Lesch, Villanova University, Middle East Studies Association Bulletin

'Highly recommended for its bold analysis of the Palestine problem...crucial viewing for those interested in challenging their assumptions.' Michael J. Coffta, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, Educational Media Reviews Online

'John Pilger has made a well-informed and engaging documentary against the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. His argument is clear and consistent throughout: the root cause of violence in Israel/Palestine is Israeli colonialism. Israel has dehumanized the Palestinians and subjugated them to the longest occupation in modern times, and the Palestinians have been resisting the occupation and fighting for their freedom and independence. These facts are incontestable, and Pilger presents them very well, mixing interviews, authorial commentary, and historical narration to convey a picture of a whole society degraded and denied its fundamental national and human rights.' Bashir Abu-Manneh, Journal of Palestine Studies


The Chris Award, Columbus International Film and Video Festival
Best of Category, Vermont International Film Festival
Certificate of Merit, Chicago International Television Awards
Mountaintop Film Festival, Vermont
Istanbul International Labor Film Festival


Main credits

Pilger, John (Screenwriter)
Pilger, John (rpt)
Stark, Tony (Director)
Martin, Christopher (Producer)

Other credits

Editor, Joe Frost; composer, Mitch Dalton; cinematographer, Preston Clothier.

Distributor credits

Christopher Martin

Christopher Martin
Anthony Stark
for Carlton International Media Ltd
Written and Presented by John Pilger

Docuseek2 subjects

Middle Eastern History
Israel / Palestine
Human Rights
War and Peace
Conflict Resolution
Immigration and Refugees
International Relations and Geopolitics
Middle East Studies

Distributor subjects

Conflict Resolution
Human Rights
International Studies
Islamic Studies
Middle Eastern Studies
Social Justice
War and Peace


Palestine, John Pilger, Middle East, West Bank, Jordan, Gaza, Israel, United Nations, apartheid; "Palestine Is Still The Issue"; Bullfrog Films

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