Film Friday:5 must-see movies about the Israel-Palestine conflict

With the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, WhatsOn revisits films that highlight the tension between the two and aim to help audiences understand the history. These films, aside from their artistic value, are a great place to start in helping to understand different perspectives and educate audiences on the Middle East, and at best, they too generate empathy. These films can help us to understand the complex history of the conflict, the different perspectives involved, and the human cost of the violence. They can also help us to see the conflict in a new light and to develop a better understanding of the people who are living through it.

Paradise Now

Paradise Now (2005) is a Palestinian film that follows the last day of two friends who are preparing to carry out a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv. The film is notable for its realistic and nuanced portrayal of the characters, who are not simply one-dimensional terrorists. Instead, they are complex individuals with their own motivations, fears, and doubts. The film is also notable for its unflinching depiction of the violence of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. While the film does not condone suicide bombings, it does offer a glimpse into the desperation and hopelessness that can lead people to commit such acts.

Overall, Paradise Now is a powerful and moving film that provides a unique perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is a must-see for anyone interested in understanding the complex forces that drive this conflict.

Lemon Tree

Lemon Tree (2008) is a powerful and moving film that explores the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the lens of a simple lemon grove. The film follows Salma Zidane (Hiam Abbass), a Palestinian widow who is forced to fight to save her beloved lemon trees when the Israeli Defense Minister moves in next door and demands that they be removed for security reasons. Abbass gives a masterful performance as Salma, a woman who is both strong and vulnerable. She is determined to protect her land and her way of life, even in the face of overwhelming odds. The film does an excellent job of showing the human cost of the conflict, and it is sure to leave a lasting impression on viewers.


The 2017 Palestinian drama film Omar is a powerful and moving portrayal of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The film follows the story of Omar, a young Palestinian man. Who caught up in a love triangle between two women: Nadia, his childhood friend, and Lana, a mysterious stranger. Omar is also a member of a resistance cell, and his secret life as a freedom fighter begins to collide with his personal life.

The film beautifully shot and acted, and it offers a unique and insightful perspective on the conflict. Omar is a complex and sympathetic character. And the audience forced to confront the difficult choices that he faces. The film is also a powerful reminder of the human cost of war and violence.

Waltz with Bashir

Waltz with Bashir (2008) is a groundbreaking animated documentary film by Ari Folman. That explores the director’s own repressed memories of the 1982 Lebanon War. The film follows Folman as he interviews fellow veterans in an attempt to piece together his lost memories of the Sabra and Shatila massacre. A horrific event in which Israeli-backed forces killed thousands of Palestinian civilians. The film’s unique animation style, which combines rotoscoping with a variety of other techniques, perfectly captures the fragmented and surreal nature of memory. The images are often dreamlike and disturbing, reflecting the trauma of the war. And the difficulty of coming to terms with it.

Waltz with Bashir is a powerful and moving film that offers a unique perspective on the war and its aftermath. It is also a testament to the power of cinema to confroant difficult truths and to help us to heal.


Samuel Maoz’s Foxtrot is a powerful and moving meditation on grief, loss, and the absurdity of war. The film follows an Israeli family as they grapple with the tragic death of their son, a soldier in the IDF. Maoz’s direction is masterful, and he uses a variety of cinematic techniques, including surrealism and symbolism, to create a unique and unsettling experience for the viewer.

The film’s performances are also excellent, with Lior Ashkenazi and Sarah Adler giving particularly memorable turns as the grieving parents. Foxtrot is a challenging film, but it is also a deeply rewarding one.

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Dona Chakraborty
Dona Chakraborty
Editorial Assistant

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