Blood and Tears

A well-balanced primer on the Arab-Israeli conflict, Blood and Tears takes just over an hour to go from the roots of Zionism to the recent electoral victory of Hamas. Workmanlike at best, with a regrettable tendency toward cheap filters and effects, the film's strength lies in its remarkable list of interviews. To name just a few: former Israeli prime ministers Shimon Peres, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Ehud Barak; Palestinian politicians Saeb Erekat and Sari Nusseibeh; assassinated Hamas leader Abdel Azis al-Rantissi; and controversial Middle East scholars Bernard Lewis and Rashid Khalidi. Those aren't the kind of gets you'd expect from a doc that's barely made it past the university circuit. Still, most espouse the standard narratives. There is one remarkable moment, from the distinguished Israeli historian Michael Oren. Recounting an assault on a Hamas compound that left 23 Israeli soldiers dead, Oren says that given the choice between flattening the compound with a missile or sending his son door-to-door—he'd send his son door-to-door.

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