Grass Roots in Dry Lands


Set in Palestine, Israel and Jordan, Grassroots in Dry Lands reveals a unique human-rights-based approach to democratic change taking root in neighbourhoods across the region. This intimate documentary, filmed in radiant warm light in homes, streets and community centres, takes us into the world of social workers who struggle to apply university-taught ideals to realities on the ground. They are building hope through their commitment to social change and their belief that all peoples of the region deserve the same rights.

In observational style, but with in-depth access, the film shows these skilled civil society activists at work, helping people through crises, accompanying them to official meetings, encouraging them to claim their rights, to speak out against violence and to challenge legal, political and religious forces.

Seasoned filmmaker Helene Klodawsky spent five years gaining the trust of her characters and brings her knowledge of the region to bear on the complex issues at hand. She delivers an original, unprecedented perspective on the Middle East. Rather than focus on top-down peace initiatives, the film shows how seeds planted by passionate activists and their armies of community organizers, psychologists, lawyers and volunteers are taking root and producing hope for lasting change.

Produced with additional funding from: