Diary of life, stolen childhood, past and future

The 15th Underhill fest opened with the film "No Other Land".

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The film "No Other Land" aroused great interest from the audience, Photo: Krsto Vulović
The film "No Other Land" aroused great interest from the audience, Photo: Krsto Vulović
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

This is a story of power... I grew up listening to it...

Tako Basel Adra, a young man from the (today overgrown) Palestinian village of Masafer Yatta begins his memory and narration of a life marked by conflict, humanitarian crisis and emotional trauma caused by the conflict between Israel and Palestine...

Basel is an activist, hero and co-author of the documentary film "No Other Land", which shows the terrible and difficult period and circumstances in which the people of Palestine have been living for years, defending their rock and their land, because they have no other.

The whole world rests on division. Green man, yellow man...

This is another of the statements of one of the film's protagonists, which summarizes the concept of the functioning of the world, from time immemorial to the present day. The "green man" has green license plates on his car, and the "yellow" has yellow. One is Palestinian, and based on the color of the number plates, almost everything is restricted, taken away and disabled. The other is an Israeli and for him the law is different, more favorable... Basel is convinced that it cannot end the way it started, because, he said, it has been forgotten that those who have power themselves suffered in the past, were branded, expelled, killed...

The 15th International Documentary Film Festival Underhill Fest opened on Wednesday evening with the film "No Other Land" in the famous area of ​​the basketball court in Njegošev Park in Podgorica, which was filled to capacity. The film is signed by the Palestinian-Israeli collective of four young activists and represents a form of creative resistance and support. After the world premiere at the prestigious film festival in Berlin, the authors faced numerous threats and attacks, but they persevere in their mission - to spread the word about injustice... The film won the audience award for the best documentary film at the Berlinale, and the fact that it was shown on the opening of Underhill is another proof of the importance of this unique festival in Montenegro and the path it has taken since its beginnings, as well as the importance of the life and film stories that an experienced selector chooses to present to the audience, aware of the power of film.

From the opening of Underhill fest
From the opening of Underhill festphoto: Krsto Vulović

The film "We have no other country" presents a poignant account of the long-standing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, focusing on the daily life of the villagers of Masafer Yatta, a territory that has been under long-term pressure from "armed settlers". All the cruelty, injustice, and hypocrisy were demonstrated in the lives of the inhabitants of that Palestinian area, which for the most part always led a peaceful and modest life. Through the documentary, viewers are guided through the eyes and steps of a young man who grows up listening to the story of power from his childhood, while he himself becomes convinced of the power of force, but also the power of will...

The destruction of one of the most authentic Palestinian villages is happening in front of our eyes: demolition of houses, destruction of water pipes, concreting of wells, cutting of electricity, demolition of schools, arrests, killings. Basel resists, but his struggle does not end with physical resistance, but spills over into creative resistance and sharing his experience on social media to raise awareness of the suffering of his people.

However, this is a story about friendship, because Basel Adra is not alone. The path of life, struggle, perseverance and longing for justice connected this young Palestinian activist with an Israeli journalist who, despite coming from a well-to-do family and could enjoy the privilege of being an Israeli, wants to contribute and help Palestine and the Palestinians in their struggle for freedom. His name is Yuval Abraham. Since 2019, the two have been recording key moments of the Israeli occupation and Palestinian resistance in the territory of the displaced Arab village of Masafer Yatta. Defiant, enthusiastic, strong, they are convinced that by sharing content that documents numerous wrongdoings, inhumanity, and even crimes, their struggle will have a stronger echo, but also influence in the environment of ideological and media one-sidedness, silence and injustice.

The destruction of a Palestinian village goes unnoticed in most (world) media, further exacerbating the sense of injustice and isolation of the Palestinians. The film also clearly highlights how media control and different information can shape the perception of the conflict and influence (global) public opinion and support. That's why "No Other Land" is much more than a documentary... "No Other Land" is a call for global awareness, conscience, empathy, humanity, understanding... The harsh reality of living under the occupation of "settlers" who make and enforce laws, calls for the support and responsibility of the international community, but also of each individual, because each person contributes to change, Juval and Basel are an example.

Juval sacrificed his freedom, home comfort and comfort, dedicated himself and somewhat identified with the inhabitants of Masafer Yatta. He enthusiastically, but not at all naively, lives his journalistic impulse. On the other hand, Basel has been fighting against Israeli soldiers since childhood, his earliest memories are related to his father's activism, resistance, but also expulsions and the gradual destruction of his community. Despite the differences and the fact that Juval is Israeli, which is not easy and significantly complicates their relationship, trust and outlook, their struggle is common, and their desire and mission are the same. This diary of life, stolen childhood, youth, past and future, anxious motherhood and brave but also resourceful fatherhood, is a testimony of all that is happening to the Palestinian people.

The movie “No Other Land” officially ended in October 2023. War and destruction continued, as did the struggle for survival.

Tonight, the Underhill fest will continue, and on the field "Dragan Ivanović" in Njegošev Park in Podgorica, the films "Exit through the Madhouse" by the director will be shown Nikola Ilic from 21 p.m., then half an hour later the production of "The Bottler" by the director Nemanja Vojinović, while the audience will be able to watch the movie "Indelible Memories" from 23.05:XNUMX p.m.

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