Rachel (image 1)

Masterpiece of a documentary... Bitton is a rarity, a documentarian of strong conviction with a moving, lyrical style.

Howard Feinstein, indieWIRE

Screened as part of NZIFF 2009

Rachel 2008

Directed by Simone Bitton

This intelligent, layered doco puts the Gaza Strip death of American peace activist Rachel Corrie in the context of a new generation of globalised activists crossing the world to put themselves in harm’s way.

Belgium / France In Arabic, English and Hebrew with English subtitles
100 minutes DigiBeta

Director, Screenplay

Producer

Thierry Lenouvel

Photography

Jacques Bouquin

Editors

Catherine Poitevin
,
Jean-Michel Perez

Sound

Cosmas Antoniadis

With

Ahmad Khalil Abou Naqira
,
Avital Leibovich
,
Sanwi Nasrallah
,
Tom Dale
,
Richard Purssell
,
Lora Gordon
,
Alice Coy
,
Will Hewitt
,
Nick Durie
,
Joe Carr

Festivals

Berlin, Tribeca 2009

Elsewhere

Simone Bitton's intelligent, layered film investigates the death of American peace activist Rachel Corrie who died in the Gaza Strip in 2003 trying to stop army bulldozers from levelling a Palestinian house. It may seem surprising that a Moroccan-born Israeli filmmaker would choose to put an American casualty at the centre of a film about the Palestinian struggle. In fact the new generation of globalised activists crossing the world to put themselves in harm's way is very much her subject. In tracing Corrie's evolution from Atlanta schoolgirl idealist to frontline activist, and interviewing her surviving comrades-in-arms, Bitton delineates a spiritual journey that many a loving middle-class family – from Georgia to Geraldine – has learned to regard with pride and apprehension. While exhaustively cross-examining IDF officials and the Palestinian families who knew Corrie, Bitton uncovers enough evidence to rouse another wave of activists. Her film is a clear-eyed elegy for a young woman who saw bad and wanted to do good. — BG