Occupation 101 uses different techniques in order to appeal to the audience’s emotions, values and intellect. One technique, the use of interviews, is used to appeal to both the emotional side as well as the intellectual side of the audience. The film has interviews with experts and scholars. Most of these people are Israeli. There are also interviews with Orthodox Jews. We aren’t seeing Palestinian scholars and experts, who would be very biased because they are the victims. The fact that Israeli scholars and experts are condemning their own makes this technique very effective at touching the intellectual part of the audience. There are also interviews with Palestinian students. These interviews touch the emotional side of the audience because we see that all these students want to do is learn. Here in America, we never have to worry about any of these things. There is one girl who says that she was studying one night and somebody shot at her window because her light was on. This touches American students because we are taking our education for granted when these Palestinian students are putting themselves in danger by going to school. Interviews with Palestinian women and children also touch the emotional side of the audience. These people are living in constant fear that they will lose their homes and maybe even their lives. There is one mother who speaks about her daughter. She says that she found her daughter trying to kill herself because the daughter didn’t want to live in the environment that she had to live in. Stories like these touch the audience. We see that these people are living in a situation so horrible that the children don’t even want to live anymore. This has actually been proven in a study that a psychologist did in Palestine. The psychologist found that the Palestinian children have lost the will to live. It isn’t just a story of one girl trying to kill herself. There has been an actual study showing that these children don’t want to live. This is something that the intellectuals in the audience can relate to.
Another technique that Occupation 101 uses in order to connect with the audience is that it shows maps with different data attached to it. One map, for example, showed that America gives more money to Israel than to all of the other countries combined. In terms of individual people, the graph shows that America gives each person in Israel something like four or five dollars more than a person from another country. Ultimately, these graphs and maps show that America is helping to prolong Israel’s occupation of Palestine. Other maps show how Israel slowly started to take over Palestine until it occupied almost all of Palestine. Even after they were declared two different states, Israel occupies more land than Palestine even though Palestine has more people than Israel. These maps are things that people can see visually. They are things that the audience will remember because they are created in such a way that it is very easy for the audience to understand.
There are ways that Occupation 101 appeals to the values of the American audience. One of these is just the images and scenes that we see in the film. We see such massive destruction in the lives the Palestinians, who are really doing nothing wrong. We see that the Israelis have weapons. They have planes, tanks, guns, all those things that armies usually have. The Palestinians, on the other hand, have nothing. They are fighting with rocks. It is planes, tanks and guns against rocks. Who do you think will win? The Palestinians don’t stand a chance, yet they are still fighting back because they know that they are being unjustly prejudiced against and unjustly imprisoned in their own land. This touches the values of Americans, who value freedom. Another thing we see is how the Israelis live versus how the Palestinians live. The Israelis have normal houses ‘” houses that look like the houses of the audience. They have running water and all the amenities. The Palestinians, on the other hand, sometimes don’t even have houses. They have to worry about having their houses destroyed. There is one family who had their house destroyed and moved into a new one only to have that one destroyed also. They only have running water for two hours out of the week. It seems like the Israelis are living like kings next to the Palestinians, who have nothing. The difference in their level of living is so immense that the audience can’t help but to feel some sort of emotion, whether it’s anger or sadness. One other image that is unimaginable to the values of American is the wall that surrounds a part of Palestine. It’s like the wall of a jail that is keeping the Palestinians inside and also keeping everyone else out. This wall is almost like a cage that is keeping the Palestinians away from the Israelis. They are treated as if they are animals. This wall is reminiscent of African apartheid. In fact, Occupation 101 puts images from the time of African apartheid side by side with the images of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. This worked really well because the images were very similar to each other and it showed the Palestinians as victims rather than the persecutors. American audiences will see these images and it will touch them to the core of their values.
Occupation 101 used all of these different techniques to show a side of the Israeli-Palestine conflict that most Americans haven’t seen much of. The American media supports Israel. It shows images of Palestinian suicide bombings and other violence like this. However, this film shows why these Palestinians are so desperate that they give their lives in order to try and rebel against Israel. These people have lost everything because of Israeli occupation ‘” their jobs, their homes, their family, everything. The only thing they have left is their lives, and without all these other things, they aren’t even willing to live anymore. So these people try to help other Palestinians who are in the same situation as them by fighting against the Israelis. We see a completely different picture in Occupation 101 and the techniques work really well together to show the audience this picture.