Documentary Film Review: “Hope in the Holy Land”
Having just watched this film, I think it gives a remarkable view of both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Todd Morehead, and American evangelical Christian, decided to examine and challenge his pro-Israel bias by coming to the Holy Land specifically to interview a broad range of people from both sides of the conflict – including significant air time for Christian Arab leaders. The film includes footage of Palestinians stabbing Jews, but also of Jewish crowds cursing Arabs. It shows Israeli soldiers beating Arabs, but also Arabs praising Israel and Palestinian workers happy to work with Jews. The film shows Christian Arabs wrestling with being caught between a literal reading of the biblical promises to Israel and the difficult life of Arabs in the “West Bank” (unpleasant interactions with Israeli soldiers, checkpoints etc.)
The viewpoints in the film are very raw and authentic and are captured in a way that even helped me after living in Israel for a few decades. For example, Todd interviews a Palestinian man who unashamedly says he would sacrifice all his children for the sake of Palestine, and he interviews a Christian Palestinian who unashamedly says some verses in the Bible should not be taken literally. In the end Todd comes away as pro-Israel as ever, but without having to hate or de-humanize the Palestinian side, having deeply listened to their experiences and feelings, and having opened his heart to them.