H2: The Occupation Lab

Directed by Idit Avrahami, Noam Sheizaf
Film Movement
94 Minutes
Israel, Canada
Arabic, Hebrew, English
Documentary, Jewish
Jewish Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, Human Rights
Not Rated
DVD $150.00
Blu-ray $150.00
PPR $350.00
DRL $499.00
PPR+DRL $599.00
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Along a one-kilometer-long road in the heart of the Palestinian city of Hebron lies H2, a neighborhood with a Jewish settlement closely guarded and highly surveilled by the Israeli military. At the end of this stretch of road lies the Cave of the Patriarchs, where Jews and Muslims believe their common father, Abraham, is buried. This is where both the Hebron Massacre of 1929 took place and where the policy of ethnic separation was first implemented by the Israeli military. Rich with history of Jews and Muslims and the only city in the State of Palestine with a Jewish settlement, H2 has acted as both a microcosm for the entire conflict and as a laboratory for the methods of control implemented by the Israeli occupation of the West Bank for over 50 years.

Leaving viewers H2: The Occupation Lab is a clear-eyed case-study using archival footage and interviews to tell the city's history and how it has fueled the entire Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Filmmakers Idit Avrahami and Noam Sheizaf believe the Palestinian city of Hebron holds the key to understanding the failures of the past and the risks of the future for the West Bank. In their joint statement on the mission of their documentary, H2: THE OCCUPATION LAB, they write, “In a world that manipulates and controls people through technological means, military power, fences and walls, H2 feels like a message from a dystopian future – and not one just aimed at Israelis and Palestinians. It shows what happens when institutions fail, when the law gives way to power, when religious extremism is becoming a political resource, and when equality gives way to ethnic control. And it demonstrates the urgent need for a new kind of political thinking – one which is founded on equal rights, respect and cooperation.” This documentary seeks to put the neighborhood of H2 in historical and political context and to understand better ways into the future.

"H2: THE OCCUPATION LAB is an ambitious film. It sets out to give a full perspective on the complex situation that is Israel’s occupation of Palestine. Beyond that, it seeks to remain unbiased, allowing Israeli settlers, government officials, security forces Palestinian locals, activists, and militants to speak their minds openly and freely. These personal interviews are interspersed with footage taken from the H2 zone through time. H2: THE OCCUPATION LAB exists to hand the viewer as much information as it can about the conflict in Hebron. It is up to the viewer to weigh that information themselves. It is not for the faint of heart, however, as brutality in many forms is shown prominently throughout the film. This excellent documentary will be of special interest to those teaching college-level courses studying the conflict in Palestine or Israeli history. Highly Recommended." - Video Librarian

  • Highest Rating
    "H2: The Occupation Lab leaves us in shock and deep thought about human nature – a traditional narration, presenting historical events unfolding in scope of over 50 years, well researched and richly documented from various points of view, once again proves its effectiveness in moving minds and hearts."
    Aleksandra Biernacka, Modern Times Review
  • Highest Rating
    "As the title indicates, Hebron was and is a laboratory for the methods used throughout the West Bank, and H2 makes the cruelty of those methods painfully clear."
    Mitchell Abidor, Jewish Currents
  • Highest Rating
    "There’s no overt case-pleading in the dispassionate assembly of materials here. But a furious gist emerges still, of a methodical, hostile long-term takeover amidst escalating violence and chaos on both sides. Important viewing...."
    Dennis Harvey, 48 Hills


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