Jenin, Jenin - Mohamed Bakri
Exposing Israeli war crimes



'Where is God?' an elderly man desperately wonders when surveying the debris in the Palestinian refugee camp Jenin.
 
The film, directed and co-produced by Palestinian actor and director Mohamed Bakri, includes testimony from Jenin residents after the Israeli occupation forces' so-called 'Defensive Wall' operation, during which the city and camp were the scenes of fierce fighting.  The operation ended with Jenin flattened and scores of Palestinians dead.  Palestinians as well as numerous human rights groups accused Israel of committing war crimes in the April 2002 attack on the refugee camp.  'Jenin Jenin' shows the extent to which the prolonged oppression and terror has affected the state of mind of the Palestinian inhabitants of Jenin.

The documentaryís main purpose was to give to the campís inhabitants the face and voice they were stripped of after the United Nations backed down -- under US and Israeli pressure -- on pursuing an investigation into a series of war crimes the inhabitants, and human rights groups, claim were committed by the IDF.

In 2003, the Israeli High Court lifted a ban on the documentary, but joined the Film Board in labelling the film a 'propagandistic lie' -- based on Israeli sources which acknowledged only 52 Palestinian deaths, 38 of whom Israeli sources argued were armed fighters.

In 2007, five IDF soldiers who participated in the Jenin refugee camp massacre sued The Cinematheque in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem for screening the film in the midst of the ban and sued Bakri for 2.5 million NIS for producing the film.  In July 2008 Bakri was acquitted of the charges.

'Jenin Jenin' earned two awards: 'Best Film' at the Carthage International Film Festival, 2002, and the International Prize for Mediterranean Documentary Filmmaking and Reporting.

The film is dedicated to Iyad Samudi, the producer of the film, who returned home to Yamun after the shooting of the film was completed.  On June 23, as Israeli forces besieged Yamun, Samudi was shot and killed as he was leaving a military-closed area with three friends.