The Movie

At the gates of the Negev desert, a group of young Palestinian struggles using video-cameras and nonviolent actions to defend their villages against the Israeli military occupation, taking back the land and the caves that have been stolen from their families.

Tomorrow’s Land: 10 years ago

The story of the village of At-Tuwani is the one we filmed and told in our first film “Tomorrow’s Land – how we decided to tear down the invisible wall” (2011 – winner of many prizes in Italy, a documentary that was selected for David di Donatello, Thessaloniki Film Festival, Al Jazeera Film Festival among others), focusing on the experience of the nonviolent resistance of the Popular Committee in the South Hebron Hills. During the last ten years, the settlements near At-Tuwani kept expanding, increasing the number of their inhabitants, building houses and animal farms. At the same time, the Israelian Army kept fighting against the Palestinian presence in the area, demolishing every new house, making the daily life harder with temporary check-points and gratuitous controls, always searching for new pretexts to move away people from their own houses. A documentary made thanks to hundreds of supporters online and offline and screenings that came to life in many Italian and world cities.

Back to At-Tuwani

In 2018 we returned to At-Tuwani to tell the story of “Youth of Sumud”, a collective of teenagers and young people born and raised under military occupation and within the Popular Committee Struggle of the village. The boys and girls of YOS are the children that ten years ago we filmed while making an exhausting journey from the village of Tuba to At-Tuwani escorted by soldiers of the Israeli army (escort established following the violent attacks carried out by the settlers); they are the children we saw go to school and who dreamed of the disappearance of the occupation. Growing up, some of these boys and girls have formed a collective called “Youth of Sumud”, deciding not just to carry on the nonviolent actions of resistance of the village’s Popular Committee, but also to reappropriate (simbolically and tangibly) of the lands stolen to their fellow citizens, going to live in the evicted caves of Sarura. We want to tell the story of Youth of Sumud so that it can be a concrete example of hope, a peaceful struggle waged under the banner of human dignity, whose outcome is still uncertain but whose ending is written through the history of each. A tiny story compared to History with a capital H, but at the same time universal and representative of a conflict that never seems to end. A conflict that, like all conflicts, can only find a positive outcome in the full acceptance of the human being, recognizing his existence and giving him visibility. And above all, as the boys and girls of Youth of Sumud seem to do towards their peers, hope.

The movie

Sarura is a low budget documentary shot by a light troupe over a few weeks spent in the villages of Sarura and At-Tuwani, with the logistical and scientific support of the Italian Operation Dove association, present in the area for many years . The documentary follows the boys and girls of Youth of Sumud for a few weeks, marking the beginning of a dialogue between us and them that continues today. The film mixes the shooting made in Palestine in 2018 with the archival material shot by the boys over the past three years, a period in which their activity has condensed around the experience of Sarura and the recovery of his caves. In the film, their story of today is alternated with yesterday’s story, when they told of the life spent between attacks by settlers and arbitrary arrests by the Israeli police, their dreams and their hopes. The aim of the film is to be able to shed light on what the future of this earth could be, showing not the roads paved by the violence that is constantly narrated from these areas, but the strength of a nonviolent struggle and resilience experience that has the eyes of young boys and girls who know aggression and arbitrariness very well, but have learned to walk on a road that, in addition to rejecting hatred and intolerance, creates the conditions for their overcoming.

Why the co-production?

“Sarura – the future is an unknown place” is the 10th documentary we are producing through Produzioni dal Basso, our informal support network, and the independent distribution. In these years, crowdfunding allowed us not only to make our cinema projects sustainable, but also to grow a base for the distribution of these projects, making the themes we issued available to a wide audience. Becoming a co-producer of one of our movies means also to join a network that is trying to make independent, social and critic production sustainable (through Openddb.com). We believe it is necessary to question the production and distribution system overturning the means of cinema market, showing that it is possible to create high-end cultural projects starting from the fair retribution for the creative work behind the project, creating networks of communities and people that make all of this possible. The starting point of this project is that this movie, a truly independent one, is going to be funded directly involving every person that wants this made. It’s not just about thinking of new ways of producing and distributing, but also about thinking of new forms of economic sustainability as a community. It means to play an active role in independent cultural production, giving a real meaning to an hackneyed word that was too often deprived of its own sense: to start a change inside society through the narration of reality, finding new sustainability models based on new economic relationships and on the idea of donation.

The campaign

To make this project sustainable, we need your help. In these years, grass-roots co-production allowed us to keep on making movies in a truly independent way and to build a distribution network. It’s not just about making movies, but also to make them available to many thanks to our networks of co-producers!

There are three ways to help us getting the movie done:

1- helping us sharing the campaign of co-production

2- organising a project presentation in your area to collect co-production shares and donations

3- making your donation and being part of the movie

Find out in the “Reward” section all the ways to help the project. To be kept up-to-date about the campaign, the movie production and what happens in At-Tuwani and in West Bank, we invite you to follow our Facebook Page and also Operation Dove’s Facebook page.