My interest in this film arose from personal and professional relevance. For the last eight years the occupied Palestinian city of Ramallah has been my home.
From my house I can see how the wall is encircling the city, blocking our horizon and imposing itself on the way we live, move and exist.
Professionally as a filmmaker my first major film ever was about the wall: “The Iron Wall” .
The film was released only a few months after the ICJ issued its ruling on the illegality of the wall. Former American president Jimmy Carter said of the film: "The best description of the barrier, its routing and impact is shown in the film The Iron Wall."
At the time I was celebrating with hope that the story of the Wall was over and soon it would be dismantled. Today, 10 years later, I can see how naïve I was. The wall is still there and now it stands titanic. Therefore, when Stefan Ziegler, the former project manager of UNRWA’s “The Barrier Monitoring Unit” (BMU), the UN’s foremost mechanism to monitor the humanitarian impacts of the wall presented me with the idea to make a documentary film for the 10th anniversary of the ICJ ruling. My immediate answer was: “yes”! The idea of my second wall film was born.
Our combined knowledge of the wall and its impacts together with enormous amounts of authentic film footage allowed us to reconstruct the past of the wall’s existence piece-by-piece zooming in on the trail the wall left at the UN and the ICJ.
What were the causes behind the international community’s failure to uphold its legal obligations to defend international law? How can two UN resolutions and an International Court of Justice opinion be dismissed so easily without any meaningful action? Who is to be held responsible for this failure? And where can the people whose lives were ruined by the wall turn to in order to get justice?
In this film, “BROKEN”, I attempt to capture the story from a different angel, applying a direct and factual approach to present the viewer with a well-rounded narrative that reflects the reality of the wall. The story is further supported by a very distinguished group of characters like some of the former ICJ judges, UN representatives, law and human rights experts as well as Israeli and Palestinian voices. When the last images of the wall disappear from the screen these questions are answered while many others are raised. An entangled web of laws, politics and interests of power are exposed; revealing how the international community finds itself up against the wall.