During the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival on campus, I saw the film Bethlehem. Not only does the film demonstrate both sides of the conflict in the West Bank, but it also gives an insight into the life of a teenager growing up in an affluent family during the time of conflict. The unconventional relationship between the informant Sanfur, the brother of a terrorist leader, and Razi, the handler, creates the theme of unity within the film at a time of dysfunction and danger in the region. This duality within the film is demonstrated in the way the film’s shots are structured: the film goes back and forth between locations demonstrating both sides of the conflict. The color scheme of the film in conjunction with the imminent danger throughout demonstrates the very real threat of violence in the film. The power of the mise-en-scene, particularly the backdrop of the arid town, in the film is particularly immersive. The use of media in the film, particularly the methods of communication such as the telephone and television broadcast, are integral to the perpetuation of information in the film. The images of the terrorists in the film are displayed on television and through the media throughout the story. Additionally, the main way the two main characters relay confidential information is through the use of their cell phones. If the main characters didn’t have access to this technology, they wouldn’t be able to communicate across enemy lines. Most importantly, they wouldn’t have been able to create a bond coming from such different backgrounds. I think that the film is an accurate description of how media can be helpful and harmful within a given situation. The film portrays the distribution of information as crucial to the storyline, but also crucial to the perpetuation of violence. I think this concept demonstrates the duality of media; its ability to be harmful and helpful at the same time. 

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