Film

The Village Under the Forest

As a child in South Africa, writer/narrator Heidi Grunebaum put her pennies in a box to help build a forest in Israel. Twenty years later she revisits the forest she helped finance, only to find that it was not a project for growth but rather one that would disguise deliberate obliteration, in this case of the Palestinian village Lubya by Zionist forces in 1948.

The Village Under The Forest makes for compelling and possibly, devastating viewing for those who know little about The Nakbah, and particularly for Jews from the diaspora. It challenges the blind loyalty of the majority of Jewish people living internationally, who remain committed to the Israel and Zionist cause.

This remarkable documentary strips back the layers of myth, from denial to stories of mass genocide, telling the real story through the hidden remains of the destroyed Palestinian village of Lubya. Lying under a purposefully cultivated forest plantation it holds many of the answers, not only to the country’s past, but also its future.

But, as the stories from both sides testify, it is not so easy to wipe the memory of whole towns, even in a country where the commemoration of The Nakba is considered a crime. Through incredible archival footage, the film provides a striking testament to why the Israel/Palestine divide remains so difficult to heal.

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