Forty Shades of Grey (Israel/Palestine)| 1hr : 23mins
Director: Nicky Larkin | Producer: Gary Hoctor
Focus Years: 2012 | Country: Ireland
"Forty Shades of Grey" (Israel / Palestine) is a non-narrative documentary that presents an alternative look at the Israel/Palestine conflict from both sides of the fence.
For the sake of effective news stories, the Israel-Palestine conflict is all too often portrayed in very simple digestible black and white terms â€” good versus evil, victim versus aggressor. From the safety of our European homes, we are particularly quick to make moral judgements on situations happening thousands of miles away. From the security of our comfortable lives, we demonise actions we don't understand, and criticise choices we will never have to make. Of course we want justice, of course we want support the underdog; but yet we are very confused as to who the underdog is.
"Forty Shades of Grey" attempts to get in between this easy black-and-white scenario that we've been presented with in our traditional media â€” and explore the many difficult grey areas that exist in between the black and the white in the Israel / Palestine conflict. Funded by The Irish Arts Council and shot on location in Israel and Palestine over the course of seven weeks, "Forty Shades of Grey" examines not only the obvious problems arising directly from the conflict itself, but also the many internal problems on both sides of the wall. "Forty Shades of Grey" takes you inside the cramped conditions of Balata refugee camp in Palestine where 25,000 Palestinians live in just one square kilometre. It examines the ongoing debate as to the state-supported status of the Ultra Orthodox Jews, exempt from army service, and the resulting bitterness felt by their fellow Israeli countrymen. It visits Silwan, East Jerusalem, to be tear-gassed and stampeded after Friday prayers, and Sheikh Jarreh to witness the forced evacuation of Arabs from their homes in East Jerusalem. It also delves into the murky world of human trafficking into Israel; how thousands of Sub-Saharan refugees are ending up in criminal Bedouin rape and torture camps in the Sinai peninsula, having thought they'd find a better life in Israel â€” with the hope that the Jews of all people will understand their plight.
"Forty Shades of Grey" features interviews with academics, politicians, soldiers, refugees â€” but most importantly, the everyday Israeli and Palestinian citizens attempting to live normal lives against the backdrop of our generation defining conflict. In a situation where everybody is right, and everybody is wrong, "Forty Shades of Grey" dispels the myth that in order to be pro-Palestine, you must also be anti-Israel.