Hot Docs, part the fourth

Last night was the screening of Death In Gaza (hot docs | hollywood reporter). I’m at a bit of a loss to describe it, honestly. The trouble I’m having deciding what to make of it is appropriate, I suppose; the whole situation between Israelis and Palestinians has gone so far beyond a simple conflict, has become so much more complicated than a struggle over land or religion or domination. This movie is the same. Just as you think you’ve seen one side be hopelessly cruel to the other, so as to gain the pity of all watching, the side which has been wronged responds in a way that seems to stretch any imaginings of what cruelty can be. When a conflict becomes something alive, something that eclipses whatever wrought it in the first place, then there is no easy way to solve it. How do you remove the capacity for hatred from the human soul?

I think James Miller felt the only way to help was to show us how the children — always the most human of any of us — were caught up in a fight they were born into, to show us how ridiculous and unnecessary the bloodshed is, to show that there really can be a way to reverse the tide that kills so many innocents. So he did his best to show us the story, reporting from the worst slums of Palestine with the intention to profile Israeli children next. In the end, he represented the horrifying, frustrating madness in the clearest, harshest, most tragic way. One year ago today James Miller was shot and killed by an Israeli soldier, leaving behind a wife and two children.

Justice for James Miller

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