In 2003, the Palestinian village of Budrus mounted a 10-month-long nonviolent protest to stop a barrier being built across their olive groves.

Brazilian filmmaker Julia Bacha asks why we only pay attention to violence in the Israel-Palestine conflict — and not to the nonviolent leaders who may one day bring peace.

Budrus is a Palestinian agricultural village in the West Bank that relies on its olive groves. And Budrus is a documentary about what happened in the village when Israeli authorities tried to uproot those olive groves to build a barrier. The villagers resisted, peacefully, for 10 months, with leader Ayed Morrar helping to unite Fatah, Hamas, the villagers, and Israeli supporters in nonviolent protest. Most vital, Palestinian women, including Morrar’s daughter, took a leading role.

It’s a story that Julia Bacha found tailor-made for Just Vision, an organization that uses film and storytelling to “Increase the power and legitimacy of Palestinians and Israelis working for nonviolent solutions to the conflict.” A break in the endless stalemate, she believes, must come from the bottom up. And the way to help the process is to show the humanity of those working for change. Bacha was also the co-director of Encounter Point, featured during Pangea Day in 2008 — a feature documentary film about four ordinary people, on both sides of the conflict, who lost nearly everything but who nevertheless work for an end to occupation in favor of peace.

She says: “We are providing alternative role models. I have seen people challenged, inspired and motivated to take action based on the stories we tell.”

Julia Bacha is the Media Director at Just Vision and the director and producer of “Budrus,” a documentary about a West Bank village, a giant barrier and nonviolent resistance.

Quotes by Julia Bacha
“If we don’t pay attention to [nonviolent protests], they are invisible, and it’s as if they never happened. But I have seen first hand that if we do, they will multiply.”

“Nothing scares the army more than nonviolent opposition.”
— quoting an Israeli activist