Promise Land

Written & Directed by Gili Dolev
Produced by Bob Last
Running time - 14 minutes (approx.)

Small toilet room, noon, interior.
Staff toilet room in a restaurant. A guy (Omar) stands at the bowl, flicks through a porn magazine, placed on the cistern.

Interior, restaurant kitchen.
Music intro of a news program.
Screen - Map of Israel and Palestine. The map shrinks to the top left hand side of the screen, revealing a mid-thirties female journalist, holding a microphone. On the other side of the screen spins a logo that reads: NCC Live (the network's name) and title with the name of the program - 'World in Crisis'.

Journalist: (American accent) "Hello, you're watching World in Crisis' and I'm Barbara Parker. Join me live."

The reporter points to the right. Camera - pan right - to the toilet door. Omar kicks the door open and walks out of the toilet carrying a Humus plate and chanting an Arabic tune. He enters the kitchen, puts the plate down and flings some olive oil and herbs on the Humus. As he picks up the plate the reporter addresses him.

Journalist: "Hi there."

Omar: "Ho hello...pretty disgusting ah...sweet revenge (laughs and then points at someone) ....see that guy over there...." (swish pan to a guy paying his bill, getting up and leaving the restaurant).

Flash back (Voiceover)
Omar: (Omar clears the guy's table and picks up one of the plates) "...ten minutes ago I'm clearing this guy's mess, right.. I'm picking up one of the plates and...

Omar: (he accidentally spills some Humus over the guy). " Oops."

Omar: (voiceover) "I accidentally spilled some humus over him."

Omar tries to wipe the humus off the guy's shirt with a towel.

Guy: (jumps off his chair and shouts) "You stinking Arab!"

Omar: "Now...you see that couple over there... (swish pan to a couple who is dinning at one of the tables) they're gonna get - this (points at the humus plate)
Journalist:(v.o.) "Why them then?"

Omar: " Because they're Jews, just like the other guy."

Omar serves the food to the couple.

Omar: (puts on a French accent) "Bon Appetite." He turns away from them.

Journalist: "That's pretty severe, don't you think?"

Omar: "Don't worry it won't kill 'em."

Back in the kitchen
Journalist: "And you are?"

Omar: "Oh sorry....(offers his dirty hand with semen to the viewers for a handshake.) Omar... (he realises that his hand is dirty) ...maybe not." (smiles and wipes his hand on his trousers) You see, it's my twentieth birthday today..."

Journalist: "Happy birthday!"

Omar: "Thanks."

A bunch of waiters appears from nowhere and start singing to him. The entire restaurant joins them.

Waiters: "Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you"

Omar: "Shookran ya chabibi" (Thanks pal)

Customers: "Happy birthday dear Omar..."

Omar: (impatiently to the singing waiters) "Shut up! Thanks! (turns to the reporter) You see I'm an Israeli Arab and to be one is like being the son of a merciful mother and an abusive father, who beats the crap out of you."

Camera swish pans to the next location.

Tel-Aviv, Disingoff Centre, noon, exterior view.
Smoke comes up from a burnt bus in the background. Loud sound of sirens comes from passing police cars and ambulances.

Three guys are beating up an old man. The three youngsters and the victim are already covered in blood, which keeps on splashing everywhere...

Omar: (v.o.) "No more a helpless Israeli Arab. From now on I'm a Palestinian!"

Journalist: "Excuse me, what's happening here"?

One of the guys turns to her.

Eitan: (he keeps beating up the guy while he talks) "Pretty horrible ah?! Revenge ... See that burnt bus over there... (camera swish pans to the bus), ten minutes ago...Boom!!! Big explosion. Fuckin' suicide bomber... Hamas probably, went on a bus full of women and children...from head to toe armed with explosives and blew himself up... here, in the middle of TelAviv....

Journalist: "Why this guy then?"

Eitan: "Well...he's an Arab, just like the other one."

Journalist: "And you are?"

Eitan: "Oh sorry I'm Eitan" (offers his hand to the camera, but when he sees it's covered with blood he takes it back and wipes it on his trousers) maybe not. (he throws the guy to the ground)

Journalist: "Don't you think he had enough?"

Eitan: "Don't worry it won't kill him. See, I'm a twenty today..."

His friends, the victim and the journalist congratulate him:

All of them: "Happy birthday Eitan."

Eitan: "Thanks."

Journalist: "So how do you see the current situation?"

Eitan: "Its Crap! We Jews can't even feel safe in our own country without some Palestinian bastards trying to blow us up."

Hebron, noon, exterior shot.
A poor neighbourhood at the outskirts of Hebron. Sewer runs in the street. Camera zooms on one of the houses.

Journalist: (v.o. during the zoom in) "We got an extraordinary opportunity here to see to see a suicide bomber in action."

Birthday signs decorate the doorway saying: "Happy 20 th Birthday Achmed ". At the side of the house in a shed, a person gets ready for a suicide mission. He puts an explosive vest on and makes sure everything is in place.

My name is Achmed offers his hand to the camera and takes it back.
n Allah I believe
I'm on a holly mission
to become shahid.

Camera pans to a Muslim preacher (Muhasin) at the top of a mosque's tower. He preaches into a megaphone.

Shahid is a person
who goes to Heaven inshala
got killed by the Jews
as a soldier of Allah.

Journalist: "Primed for action Achmed heads for his target and martyrdom."

Bombs on my body
To Tel Aviv I head
to blow up many Jews
I hope I wind up dead.

Allah Wahackbar (he explodes and flies to the sky. A typical semitransparent image with wings)

Heaven, fluffy big clouds surface.
Along row of large belly dancers in minimal outfits are lying down, dancing and singing:

Fat belly dancers:
We're sixty nine beauties
a gift to all shahids,
waiting here in Heaven
to please them and to breed.

The Bomber the Preacher and the Dancers: Shahid...shahid ...shahid.

The bomber sits up in his coffin and says: "Shahid"

A funeral cortege passes in the centre of town. Six men carry the bomber's coffin and a group of armed gunmen firing their weapons, lead the parade. A long trail of weeping women drags behind. They praise the martyr and curse Israel.

A young Jewish settler carrying an M-16 appears from one of the dark alleys. He walks fast when he suddenly turns to the camera.

Aaron: "Quickly, follow me. It's not safe to be here."

Journalist (running after him and breathing heavily): "A Jewish settler...let's see what's he up to... umm (try to remember his name)"

The settler stops and turns around breathing heavily.

Aaron: "Oh, pardon me (points at himself) Aaron (he offers his hand, which isn't carrying the Uzi, but then he realises that he holds a grenade in the other) Maybe not.... (puts the grenade away) I live right over There, in the Jewish settlement...(points at the Jewish complex surrounded by a high wall with a big iron-gate at the front.)

Interior of the Jewish settlement, early afternoon.
Big courtyard surrounded by small houses connected to each other. The yard and the houses are built of rough Jerusalem t stone. The place seems very peaceful and tranquil. A group of men is praying in the synagogue.

Aaron: "Oh yeah...by the way I'm twenty today."

Journalist: "Happy birthday!"

A couple of soldiers who guard the compound from inside, wish him happy birthday in Hebrew.

Soldiers: "Mazal -Tov."

Aaron: "Thank you! (he heads towards the synagogue) Please come in."

Journalist (very loudly): "That's their synagogue."

Aaron: "Sssshhh...they are praying. I have to go join them."

We've longed for this place
for two thousand years,
we daily asked God
to open his ears.

So now when he listens
we often use his name,
to claim an extra piece of land.

Palestinians: Obviously in vain. (from the rooftops that surrounds the Jewish settlement)

Women: True it's not easy to raise our young
in such a hostile place.

Little girl: But where ever you go Soldiers:

There are troops on patrol (soldiers march in determinably)

Women with a Little girl and a baby: To protect us when we misbehave. (The little girl fires an automatic machinegun and the baby throws a hand grenade)

Settlers trash Palestinian fruit stands and kiosks.

Journalist: "These are live pictures from the Kasbah of Hebron."

True there's no dearer price
Than young soldiers lives

We're the ones who truly suffer. (Stones and petrol bombs thrown at the soldiers standing in the outlook towers)

The settlers jump on top of each other forming a human pyramid.

But Israel must pay
So we can stay and pray

Little girl - at the top of the pyramid. (She pulls out an Israeli flag which quickly becomes saturated with blood and goes up in flames) Or we'll drown it in blood and in fire.

All together:
And in blood and in fire
And in blood and in fire

Hebron City centre, afternoon, exterior
A clash scene between the army and the Palestinians. Palestinians are throwing stones and petrol bombs at the Israeli tanks that stand still. The Palestinians are Chanting: "In Blood and fire we'll redeem you Palestine!"

Journalist: "I'm here, Barbara Parker, reporting to you from the middle of a Palestinian demonstration. I'll go and speak to one of the rioters."

Rioter (Ali): (he picks up a petrol bomb and throws it at the soldiers) "In blood and fire will redeem you Palestine!"

He lights up a petrol bomb.

Journalist: "And who are you?"

Ali stands up hold the petrol bomb in his left hand. He had lost his right hand in previous fights and now there is only a stump left.

Ali: "I'm Ali...um maybe not (offers his stump for a shake. Looks at it in frustration and takes it back. He throws the petrol bomb) Allah wachbar!"

- Nation of Slaves song starts -

Journalist: "For the past few decades the Palestinians have provided cheap labour for the Israeli economy, mainly as construction workers."

Slaves (whispering):
No more a nation of slaves,
No more a nation of slaves
No more.

The "No more a nation of slaves" segment is an analogy to the biblical Exodus story with Palestinian construction workers instead of Hebrew slaves.

No more a nation of slaves!
Who take any job and live on leftovers.

A group of Palestinian workers:
No more a nation of slaves.

Who's freedom depends on someone else's goodwill.

A group of Palestinian workers:
Our frustration said

No more!

A group of Palestinian workers:
Our hunger preached to

Ali: Fight!

Intifada brothers!

A group of Palestinian workers:
We shouted,

Will gain us back our pride.

A group of Palestinian workers:
No more a nation of slaves!

Journalist (wondering):
Why don't they do something about it?

A group of Palestinian workers:
Cause when we fought too hard

Ali: They didn't want us to work for them. (Israelis refusing to give them jobs)

A group of Palestinian workers:
A modern nation of slaves

Israel is the life support machine of the Palestinian economy.

A group of Palestinian workers:
If we'll cut the umbilical cord
connecting us to big mama Israel,
(music stops)

We'll all die...

- Back in the present -
Ali: (He throws another petrol bomb) "Bastards!" (he is hit in the balls by a rubber bullet and falls to the ground twisting in pain) owhooo... fuckin' rubber bullets, the Israeli present for my twentieth birthday. Owhoo... "

Journalist: (sadly) "Happy Birthday!"

All the soldiers on the other side congratulate him.
Soldiers: "Happy birthday!"

-Swish zoom -

Exterior - The opposite side of the barricade where the soldiers are

A soldier turns to the camera from behind a bulletproof jeep.

Gaddy: "Rubber bullet extension. Not lethal if you aim to the lower part of the body. But some guys (giggles) you know...(giggles)

Shot of a target projected onto a naked man aimed at his genitals.

Gaddy: "Oh by the way I'm Gaddy..."

Gaddy stretches out his hand for a shake but the reporter doesn't let him finish. He takes his hand back in dissatisfaction.

Journalist: "Yes, yes...I've herd that a kid was killed here yesterday..."

Gaddy: (apologetic) "Yes, he came to throw stones but was caught in crossfire between us and the Palestinians."

Journalist (accusative): "And how do you feel about it?"

Gaddy: (sad) "Terrible! But I blame the parents who send their children to the frontline. (sighs) ache...I'm sick of this place but what do I care?! I'm twenty today and tomorrow I'm off home celebrati (his voice is sharply cut by the sound of a bullet)

He gets shot in the head before completing his sentence. He drops dead to the ground.

-Zoom Out -

-Fade Out -

-Fade In -

Exterior - Jerusalem - The Dome of the Rock, sunset.

The camera follows a dove that flies above Jerusalem through the Old City. The dove passes all the key sacret places to the three religions - The Russian Church, The Weeping Wall and the El Aksah Mosque. The shot ends up at the Dome of the Rock, where Barbara Parker is standing at the steps leading to the dome.

Two huge camps of Jews and Arabs are facing each other ready to fight. The whole setting looks like a medieval fight. The Jewish camp shouts: "Arabs!" and the Arabic camp shouts: "Jews!"

Journalist: (dramatic) "I'm here at the Dome of the Rock. Where a huge crowd has gathered. This is a most sacred place for both Muslims and Jews. And you are watching live."

Louder shouting from both camps. Camera flies through a tunnel made of Palestinian and Israeli flags crossing each other. Camera stops halts on two flags overlapping one another at the centre of the screen.

A young boy walks out from in-between the flags (like curtain in a stage play), and starts to sing.

We've prayed for this moment
for such a long time,

A girl skips in from the side of the screen, and joins him singing.

The moment when peace
will finally come.

I can see it coming...
pure and divine.

Clear as reflection
on calm water...

The two kids together:
But as it was close enough to touch It slipped through our fingers, Like fog...

The crowd joins in.

Everybody together:
So close and yet so far. Even peace won't live here. Who can blame it?

Man A:
Who needs it anyway?!

Man B:
Maybe we don't like to fight,

Everybody together:
But we're really good at it!

The Arabic Camp:

The Jewish camp:

The Jewish camp: (moves towards the Arab camp.)

The Arabic Camp: (moves towards the Jewish camp.)
Jews! Jews!

The Jewish Camp:

Chaos. The two camps charge at each other. The wave of people splits into two groups that start climbing on the Dome of the Rock. They struggle to climb the steep dome. The leader of each group carries a flag. The two camps conquer the top at the same moment, sticking their flags in the metal surface of the dome after ripping out the crescent moon symbol. The dome cracks and collapses under their feet. Smoke comes out of the ruins. Barbara addresses the viewers. She is covered in dust and debris.

Journalist: "This has been Barbara Parker, Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem."

She pauses for a short while to make sure she is off air. When she is given okay, she relaxes. She then turns round, rearranges her underpants and sighs in satisfaction.

A long credit list of 'World in Crisis', roles up at incredible speed.

Barbara stands with her back to the screen and says to herself:

Journalist: (takes a deep breath) "The delicate sent of the Pulitzer Prize...(sighs in great satisfaction) haaa..."

Camera pulls out towards a quite hill in the outskirts of Jerusalem, looking down at the dome of the rock.

Male voiceover: (American accent) "Next on NCC, World Cup Finals in Mud Wrestling, live from Kabul and Mazaree Sharif."

The camera reaches a small hill at the outskirts of Jerusalem. Two old men sit in the foreground of the shot playing backgammon.

Man A: (turns to the viewers) Those media guys always show stereotypes...they never show real people like us. Now where was I...yesss..."

Man B: Double six...come on...double six...go baby, go.

Both: mmm...

Man A: (laughs) Two, one...how low can you go! (Laughs and turns to the viewers) We're what they call - the silent majority."

Man B: "The boring news. Probably we're not extreme enough for them."

They laugh

Man A: "But don't get us wrong, we don't believe in peace."

Man B: "Ho God, No. We want to wake up one morning and to find that you're all gone. "

Man A: "And we want to chuck you all into the sea. "

Man B: "But we've agreed to make cease-fire."

They raise up their teacups.

Man A: "To cease-fire."

Man B: "Cease-fire."

Both: Cheers!!!

Man A: (throws the dice) Oh, double six. I've won."

Man B: "Wha? How?"

Man A: "Look that's one, two, three, four."

Man B: "Now wait a second. You can't do that."

Man A: "Of course I can."

Man B: "You don't understand the rules."

Man A: "Of course I understand the rules! Look, it's in the book."

Man B: "It's not in the book!"

Man A: "Read the book!"

Man B: "I've read the book many times."

Man A: "I wrote the book."
Man B: (laughs) "Oh, oh, oh, But you still can't do that."

Man A: "Yes I can!"

Man B: "You can't do that!"

Man A: "But I can."

Man B: "No you can't."

Man A: "Look everyday it's always the same, you with your rules..."

Interferes in the middle of his sentence.

Man B: "...And you with your book."

Man A: "You always come up with new rules."

Man B: "They're only new to you, ask anyone."

Man A: "I have."

Man B: "And?"

Man A: "They've never heard it."

Man B: "Because you asked the wrong people."

Man A: "They can't be wrong. They're my people."

Man B: "But they aren't mine, therefore they're wrong and you can't win."

Man A: "I won but you won't let me win."

Man B: "No, no, I'm not stopping you winning... I'm just saying that you can't do that!"

It starts raining.

Man A: "Yes I can. Can!"

Man B: "No you can't!"

Man A: "I can!"

Man B: "You can't!"

Man A: "I think it's raining."

Man B: "I think you're right.

Man A: "Finally you agree on something."

They get up and leave slowly. Their voices fade out.
Man B: "Don't worry it's a one off."

Man A: "I bet."

Man B: "Damn weatherman, said it won't rain."

Man A: "And you believed him."

Man B: "What choice did I have?"

Man A: "To take an umbrella."

Man B: "Why? You didn't bring one."

Man A: "I brought the board."

Man B: "So what, I brought the tea."

Man A: "I also brought a chair."

Man B: "I brought one too...Why are you talking?"

Man A: "I'm stopped talking."

Man B: "You always wants the last word."

Man A: "Who's talking now?"

Man B: "It's you, you always want the last word."

Man A: "Listen you are talking."

Man B: "You people, you kill me..."

Man A: "You are the ones who always want the last word."

Man B: "Always want the last word."

Man A: "You're the one always want the last word."

Man B: "It's you, I'm telling you it's you."

Man A: "What are you saying? I'm finished. I'm not saying another word."

Man B: "I've stopped speaking."

Man A: "Who is talking now? No, no, who is talking now?! I'm not speaking. Listen to me I'm not speaking. Are you speaking? Who is speaking? You! I'm finished! Last word..."

The rain intensifies for a few moments and then fades out.

-The end -

to the top of the page