[Film Review] Three Bullets and a Dead Child

Esther Schapira is a documentary filmmaker in Germany who has produced a remarkable film that reveals more than ever how the Palestinian Authority has used children to advance its goal of attacking Israel in the world media.

Schapira’s film, “Three Bullets and a Dead Child,” in German with English subtitles, shows viewers what actually happened that fateful day in Gaza when 12 year-old Mohammed al Dura was reported to have been deliberately shot by Israeli soldiers. Schapira’s documentary shows terrorists attacking an Israeli army base, along with how a Palestinian cameraman engaged in film manipulations as well as how a French television station created a propaganda moment for Arafat’s Palestinian Authority. Even today, the al Dura event is extensively used to keep the Middle East conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis roiling, costing thousands of lives on both sides.

The films takes viewers on an exhaustive cinematic tour of that morning when Israeli soldiers stationed at the Netzarim outpost were attacked by Palestinians armed with Kalashnikov guns and firebombs, as well as by stone-throwing youths. Some film outtakes even show shots of the boy and his father positioning themselves as if for a visual bite when they easily could have exited the scene with the other Palestinians present. Through exhaustive interviews with the Israel Defense Forces and through forensic studies, the film reveals how it was impossible for Israeli soldiers to have shot Mohammed al-Dura and how the Palestinian Police purposely manipulated the event to Arafat’s advantage.

Shocking footage of the ferocity of the attack on the Israeli outpost minutes before the boy’s death gives the viewer a vicarious ride of what the Israeli soldiers were going through that morning. But make no mistake: this is an objective film. It shows how the Israelis could not have killed the boy and does so without being preachy or taking sides.

Of special interest in the film is the question of why al Duras and his father decided to walk intentionally through the middle of a riot and an attack on an Israeli army outpost when they easily could have walked around the trouble spot. Subsequent footage also begs the question of why the pair didn’t flee with everyone else but chose rather to stay in front of the Palestinian cameraman when the Israelis were finally defending themselves.

The Israeli army’s rush to apologize for the incident without investigating it first is outlined in the documentary as well as how the Palestinian police intentionally prevented later investigative attempts. Forensic reports made by the Palestinians further show that whoever shot the boy would have to have been in the Palestinian camp-that is if the boy and his father were ever really shot at all.

Of special interest is that French television station France 2’s Palestinian cameraman, Talal Abu Rahme, who shot the actual event, can’t seem to keep his story straight. Only six minutes of a 45-minute report of the attack on the Israeli base that morning was turned in, of which France 2 only aired 20 seconds-20 seconds that inflamed the world unjustifiably against Israel. France 2 has consistently refused to release the outtakes of the filming from before and after the incident.

The Palestine Solidarity Movement in the United States and Canada has been screening on college campuses propaganda films such as “Jenin, Jenin” and “Death In Gaza,” a film recently aired on HBO, which depict massacres and atrocities that never occurred. But “Three Bullets and a Dead Child” can show the American public and the world how the Palestinian Authority engages in media manipulations that form the staples of such films. So be prepared for a shock. Due to be released shortly, Schapira’s documentary should take America by storm.

Three Bullets and a Dead Child

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