26/05/2012 00:57


I've just finished watching the 2003 documentary, Checkpoint. It was made by Israeli filmmaker Yoav Shamir and shows the everyday interaction between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian civilians at checkpoints throughout the West Bank and Gaza.

The documentary highlights the frustration and boredom of the young Israeli soldiers and the seemingly arbitrary restrictions placed on the Palestinians, who suffer a great deal of humiliation. The trouble is, the film lacks context. During the three years this documentary was made, there were more than 100 terrorists attacks, in which 800 Israelis were killed and 5,000 were wounded. The film also fails to show the many instances when suicide bombers were stopped at the checkpoints. Some of those stopped included women and children.

Checkpoint is a revealing portrait of the frustration and tedium of life in the West Bank, but by manipulating the viewer’s feeling and failing to reveal the big picture, the film does a disservice to the men and women of the IDF.