French-Israeli filmmaker Simone Bitton’s controversial film, “Rachel,” has been picked up by Women Make Movies (WMM). The film will have a week-long run at New York’s Anthology Film Archives October 8 – 14.
“Rachel” is an investigatory documentary that examines the death of peace activist and International Solidarity Movement (ISM) member Rachel Corrie, who was crushed by an Israeli army bulldozer in the Gaza Strip in 2003. A few weeks after her little-reported death, an inquiry by Israeli military police concluded that Corrie died in an accident. According to WMM, “Simone Bitton (‘Wall’), an award-winning documentary filmmaker who is a citizen of both France and Israel, has crafted a dispassionate but devastating essay investigating the circumstances of Rachel Corrie’s death. The region, already torn apart by decades of conflict, is divided on who is responsible for Rachel’s death. The film begins like a classic documentary, but soon develops, transcending its subject and establishing a candid new visual approach for bearing witness.”
The film and its subject have already sparked debate, with protests at the 2009 San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, which brought Corrie’s mother to speak on a panel, as well as condemnations in Jewish newspapers.
“We are pleased to be acquiring ‘Rachel,'” commented Debra Zimmerman, Executive Director of Women Make Movies in a statement. “We embrace the controversey, which serves to make WMM even more committed to reach a wide-ranging audience who can see the film for themselves and draw their own conclusions about the truth.”