Walking through paradise (2010)

We wanted to go to Zbuba.
But first we had to get to Zbabde.

Two young filmmakers are trying to visit a village near Jenin in the West Bank. But when they reach the Hamra checkpoint in the Jordan valley, the Israeli army refuses to let them pass.

The advice of a young soldier who is nostalgic for the English countryside, and a chance meeting with three strangers wearing yellow fluorescent jackets, will get them back on the path. But the path to where?

A documentary film by Peter Snowdon, starring Rima Essa, Nizzar and friends.

In 2003, I spent four months traveling through the West Bank with my friend Rima Essa while we were making Drying up Palestine.

Walking through Paradise captures one moment during our travels which stood out in my memory, and which seemed to me to sum up so much of what I had seen of Palestine: the hospitality, the contradictions, the sense of humour – and the omnipresent threat of violence.

This film was produced and edited by Bruno Tracq. Our work was made possible by the generosity of the 33 people who pre-bought the limited edition DVD.

This was the first film I made to attract critical attention, when it premiered at Belfort. Médiapart (Ludovic Lamont) loved it. Independencia (Arthur Mas, Martial Pisani) hated it (in an article that has since disappeared from the Internet). As my grandfather used to say (he was a linotype operator, so he spoke from experience): read all sides.

16 minutes, DV, 4:3, mono.