Sunday, February 21, 2010


I stumbled across Amreeka at my local video rental store. I'm glad I did. It's put out by National Geographic Entertainment and tells the story of a Palestinian woman and her son. They are mistreated in Palestine and move to America where they are mistreated in different ways. They are suspected of being terrorists and finding a job for the mother becomes very difficult. Eventually it is revealed that they aren't even Muslims. It's not explicitly stated in the film but the careful observer will realize that they are actually Christians. The media tends to portray the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a conflict between Jews and Muslims. I think it's important to remember that there are many Christians involved as well and that the Christians are living among the Palestinians. In many cases the Christians in that area are treated better by their Muslim neighbors than by the Israelis. Unfortunately, many Christians see support of national Israel as a Biblical command and are entirely unaware of the terrible circumstances that Christians undergo because of Israel. That's not to say that the Middle East would be in better shape if everyone were under Sharia law, but seeing the conflict between Israel and Palestine as a simple battle of good vs. evil as some Christians and "conservative" talk show hosts portray it is in conflict with reality. If someone came to your house and made you leave so other people could live there you probably wouldn't be very happy either. The movie certainly has an agenda but it's not utopian or idealistic. It never really presents a solution but it's a good conversation starter. I think it would be an excellent film to show as part of a class that deals with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Unfortunately that probably won't happen because of some of the drug use in the movie.

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