The 2006 Academy Award winner for best short was a small independent musical titled “West Bank Story.” Clearly using the metaphor of the famous American musical “West Side Story” as the general basis, the film examines David, an Israeli soldier, and Fatima, a Palestinian fast food cashier. The unlikely couple fall in love amidst the animosity of their families’ dueling falafel stands in the West Bank. Although this movie is clearly a satire, it’s based on the real conflict that occurs daily in the West Bank. For a quick review of the West Bank conflict, watch the following video created by Israel’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Danny Ayalon. Although some of the conclusions could be debatable, the general history of the conflict is very accurate.
Start by watching the Academy Award winning movie “West Bank Story.” After watching the movie, please answer the following questions:
1. Is this conflict a religious conflict or a territorial conflict? Why?
2. How does this short film depict the realities of the West Bank Conflict today?
3. Most of the controversy surrounding this film involves the over-simplification of the conflict itself. Do you think the over-simplification is a problem or just a choice used by the filmmakers? Why?
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