Directed by: Jesse Schluntz
Starring: Todd Morehead
A detailed and dramatic insight into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
An American Christian named Todd Morehead leaves California and heads to Israel, hoping to obtain information from individuals from both sides of the conflict and develop an understanding of the general situation.
Separated into chapters, this fascinating documentary follows Morehead as he travels around various locations, interviews people and learns a great deal about the conflict's history, what state it has reached today and how it affects the individuals who live in Israel.
There is plenty of old footage depicting large crowds protesting, conflicts between civilians and soldiers and people being severely injured. There are many photos that show the military, dead bodies and the aftermath of terror attacks. It should be noted that some of the footage and pictures is quite graphic and distressing. The effects of terrorism are vividly shown in this documentary.
The film is very well made, takes the viewer all around various locations and contains a large number of breathtaking shots of cities and landscapes. The Walls of Jerusalem and Israeli checkpoints are also examined. The filmmakers often utilize slow motion and the results look great. Dustin Wise's score creates the right feeling and is a significant contribution.
Morehead conducts many interviews with individuals from a variety of religions. He speaks to activists, professors, refugees, journalists, Palestinian Christians and Jewish settlers. The interviewees share their knowledge and experiences and listening to them is captivating.
Morehead himself comes across as friendly and intelligent. He narrates with enthusiasm and at several parts he looks into the camera and addresses the audience. His love of surfing is also present, as there are sequences that show him engaging in his beloved sport.
There are well executed animated sequences that depict a map of Israel and the surrounding countries, significant historical battles and religious events.
Although this film explores an ongoing conflict, it also reveals the positive side of Israelis and Palestinians. The interviewees belong to a variety of religions, are intelligent, have good intentions and appear to be living happy lives. It is also shows Palestinians working with Israelis. Schluntz does an amazing job as the director and captures the beauty of Israel.
Hope in the Holy Land is a very respectable achievement and bound to attract the viewer's attention. It provides an informative look into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and makes one wonder what things are going to be like in the future.