Ramallah Road is a poetic documentary by Iona Hogendoorn en Federico Campanale. It shows the living conditions of the Palestinians in Al-Ram, near Ramallah on the West Bank. They find themselves limited and disempowered by the wall and the checkpoint erected by Israel. Economic malaise, hopelessness and boredom rule the road that once used to be the main economical vein of Al-Ram, connecting Jerusalem and Ramallah. Through this annexation of Jerusalem by the wall, the Palestinians have not only lost their land but also their ties to fellow Palestinians.
Simultaneously, a team of sprayers are spraying a 2.5 km letter on the wall in Al-Ram. It stretches all the way to Ramallah, where it almost touches the infamous checkpoint of Qalandia. The letter was written by Farid Esack, a South African anti-apartheids activist and friend of Nelson Mandela. This letter is both a denunciation of Apartheid and an endorsement to the Palestinians, making comparisons between the Palestinian situation and South African Apartheid. This project has been set up by the Dutch organization Send a Message and a Palestinian youth organization to show the world the real situation in Palestine in a non-violent way.
Both street interviews and explanations of the political situation by experts (given by Michael Warschawski, an Israeli activist of the Alternative Information Centre in Jerusalem, and Imad Sabi, Palestinian political refugee in the Netherlands) give us a brief impression of the situation. We see that Israel uses the wall not only as a defence, but as a means to separate Palestinians among themselves and reclaim more land. What is the right way to resist after 60 years of hopeless struggle?
Research, Direction, Camera, Editing: Iona Hogendoorn & Federico Campanale