“Judgement Day” – 2002
A 59 minute documentary feature on the current situation in Israel / Palestine taking as a reference point the struggle for liberation in South Africa. Co-produced & broadcast by M-NET & awarded the “best documentary” for 2002 at the Apollo Film Festival. Also available in the UK and Europe from Journeyman Films.
“JUDGEMENT DAY” – [ South Africa / Namibia yesterday, Israel / Palestine today ]
“Indifference to evil is more insidious than evil itself.
It is a silent justification affording evil acceptability in society” ~
Abraham Joshua Heschel, Jewish philosopher.
“But however long it takes, the evil truth will always be out there –
waiting to be exposed.”
Borne out by the South African Truth & Reconciliation Commission, this introductory reference point of the documentary establishes a principal tenet of “JUDGEMENT DAY” – a universal statement about war and the consequences of protracted violent conflict on a generation of youth – caught up on both sides of that conflict – sent out by the Generals to kill & maim for God & Country.
Contextualised in the history of the violent struggle against apartheid in South Africa / Namibia-past and the current brutalising bloodshed taking place in Israel / Palestine daily, “JUDGEMENT DAY” is as much a film about the post-Apartheid search for healing in South African society as it is a prophetic reflection on the steady loss of humanity of those bathed in the ongoing bloodied conflict that is Israel / Palestine today.
As such, “JUDGEMENT DAY” examines how ordinary people become brutalised in situations of conflict, and lose their essential humanity and moral compass.
Drawing parallels between the role white South African army conscripts found themselves playing in defending the policies of Apartheid and the situation in which young Israeli soldiers find themselves in today – maintaining the Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian Territories – the film shows how in both situations, young men find themselves participating in acts of cruelty as a direct consequence of indoctrination in the overriding priority of “state security” & the need to humiliate & exert control over a dehumanised enemy-image.
Filmed over the past three years in South Africa, and in Israel & the occupied territories of Palestine since the start of the Second Intifada, “JUDGEMENT DAY” conveys the harsh day-to-day life-experience of the Palestinian people living under the siege conditions of closure & collective punishment enforced by Israeli security forces of occupation.
The film takes a critical look at the Israeli policy of ‘settlements’ in the occupied territories and identifies Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories as a basic root-cause of the ongoing cycle of violence – advocating a return to the pre-1967 ‘green-line’ borders defining an Independent Palestinian State alongside an Independent State of Israel as the starting point for any possible peace process that will lead to a just & lasting peace in the Middle East.