5 Days –_“The Prisoners Dilemma”?
is a documentary film by Yoav Shamir which chronicles the events during the 5 days withdrawal and forceful occupation of Israeli settlers from Gaza in August 2005. It is introduced with a strong narrative of the film-maker. The film shows the unique psychological and physical conflict of the Israeli Defense Force set against their own, deeply religious and conservative people; 40 000 soldiers evacuating 8000 settlers.
“There is no glory here. There are no winners in this battle. There is no victory!”? says General Commander Dan Harel of the Southern Israeli Forces.
The lack of policemen and the soft approach of the soldiers towards the Jewish settlers is startling compared with the usual repression of protesters.
Especially one scene with Palestinian kids, who are nearly being shot at from a distance of several hundred metres, is sharply contrasting.
“Should I shoot at the wall or at their legs?”? asks the Israeli soldier in the watchtower, whilst making clear he prefers the later.
The view of the Palestinians is missing, as is any reference of the withdrawal from Gaza being important to a Middle East peace process and an overall conflict resolution.
The film exposes the policy of placing settlers in Palestinian regions as a military strategy and tactic, with the settlers extremism now having overtaken the government and the army in its battle of ideologies.
“The guilt trip has to stop.â€? states the General Commander whilst the army discipline breaks down on the second day and the protesters greet the Israeli’ army with everything as bizarre as “soldiers, policemen, I love you!”? to verbal “Nazis, Nazis”? abuse.
It raises questions on how the military is being used to control its own people and shows an apparent lack of discussion and understanding in Israeli society.
“This is not a life-threatening mission. We can only be humiliated.â€?
The quality of the film production is quite high: the access to General Commander Dan Harel is unprecedented and the Israeli soldiers are for once portrayed as being human, and the General is impressive in its analytical, calm and decisive way.
“The hard times are theirs, not ours. It’s a game that both sides play.”?
An undercover army person – informs on the settlers’ plans and takes the orders from the General Commander back whilst trying to influence the settlers barricading themselves in the synagogue.
The night pictures are of an amazingly high quality, and the film teams seem to be everywhere at any time, with seven different teams filming simultaneously in different locations. It is a bit like 24 going docu.
But as soon as the shudders of excitement appear to tickle up and down the spine, the perspective changes again and the viewer is being pulled back into the point of view of the observing outsider.
The structure of the film is clearly marked, and the film crew tries its best to clarify the location and times of the events, with maps and animation.
**Setting up the rules
Rules are broken
Who blinks first?
17th of August
**Both sides take off their gloves
**The Day of Reckoning
The narrative summarises at the end:
“No series casualties reported. No Jewish blood was shed.”
which naturally leaves the question of why the importance of Jewish is pointed and stressed so much.
The conclusion from Dan Harel when entering the last settlement to evict on the final day.
“Itâs completely bizarre. All the weirdos of Israel are gathered here.”?
Which could be a quite relevant statement regarding the settlement policy and structure overall.
Interesting the response of Capitalism as such:
“The stock market reached an unprecedented high thanks to the evacuation.”?