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Synopsis

Where Olive Trees Weep offers a searing window into the struggles and resilience of the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation. It explores themes of loss, trauma, and the quest for justice.

We follow, among others, Palestinian journalist and therapist Ashira Darwish, grassroots activist Ahed Tamimi, and Israeli journalist Amira Hass. We also witness Dr. Gabor Maté offer trauma-healing work to a group of women who were tortured in Israeli prisons.

Ancient landscapes bear deep scars, having witnessed the brutal reality of ancestral land confiscation, expulsions, imprisonment, home demolitions, water deprivation, and denial of basic human rights. Yet, through the veil of oppression, we catch a glimpse of resilience—deep roots that have carried the Palestinian people through decades of darkness and shattered lives.

This emotional journey bares the humanity of the oppressed while grappling with the question: what makes the oppressor so ruthlessly blind to its own cruelty?

Characters

Ashira Ali Darwish worked for 15 years as a TV & Radio journalist and researcher in Palestine for the BBC, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. She is the founder of Catharsis Holistic Healing, a trauma therapy project pioneering a type of Sufi active meditation which draws its roots from ancestral and Indigenous knowledge.

Dr. Gabor Maté, Holocaust survivor, Order of Canada recipient, and creator of the Compassionate Inquiry™ psychotherapeutic approach, is a Hungarian-Canadian physician and author known for his work on trauma, addiction, stress and childhood development.

Once identified as a Zionist, he later revised his stance and has since openly criticized Israel’s ongoing occupation of Palestinian lands, including the oppression, expulsion, and massacres of Palestinians. He believes that acknowledging historical context is crucial to understand the current conflict and to move forward.

Amira Hass is an Israeli journalist, author and columnist in the daily newspaper Haaretz. She covers Palestinian affairs in Gaza and the West Bank, where she has lived for almost thirty years. The daughter of two Holocaust survivors, she is the recipient of many awards for her work including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Women’s Media Foundation.

Neta Golan is an Israeli Activist and co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement, Israelis Against Apartheid, and Return Solidarity. She has actively resisted the occupation, participating in hundreds of demonstrations against the wall and the illegal colonizer roads. She is married and lives in Ramallah with her Palestinian husband.

Team

Zaya Ralitza Benazzo is a producer and a film director born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria. She is the co-founder of the nonprofit organization SAND. She has produced and directed several award-winning documentaries including The Wisdom of Trauma, The Art of Life, Rays of the Absolute, America’s Chemical Angels, and Wings and Strings.

Maurizio Benazzo grew up in Genova, Italy. At an early age he began actively traveling the spiritual path, exploring the practices of Zen Buddhism, Transcendental Meditation, Yogic philosophy, Catholicism and Philosophy. He has experience in all aspects of production both in front of and behind the camera, including acting, directing, cinematography, and distribution.

Caroline Campbell is a well-seasoned cinematographer, editor and director. Starting out with a BBC Horizon film ‘Global Dimming’, which won the Windscreen Planet Earth award, Caroline went on to found The Hive Studios creating branded content and soon connected with Zaya and Maurizio while filming SAND. Through their collaboration, Caroline went on to film/edit The Art of Life and filmed/edited Wisdom of Trauma. And this abundant relationship continues.

Nickoloz Kachibaia was born in Tbilisi, Georgia and raised in Toronto, Canada, Nika is a cinematographer, editor and colorist. Nika collaborated with the Director’s Guild of Canada for several years, where he created their content and helped launch the DGC Round Table Discussion series. Transitioning to commercial productions, Nika partnered with agencies in Toronto and engaged in meaningful work with NGOs worldwide. He worked on projects with renowned brands and agencies such as SONY, Aveda, WaterAid, War Child, Jameson, Stoneleigh, Gravity, ZINK and many more.

Finley MacNeil is a film and television editor, producer, and director from Toronto, Canada. Having cut thousands of commercial spots by the age of seventeen and his first feature at eighteen, Finley practically grew up in a post-house. Working with countless producers in Canada, the US, and Europe, Finley has amassed innumerable credits at a very young age. His most recent works include The Case Against Cosby, Life Below Zero: Canada, and In Their Own Words.

Contact

Where Olive Trees Weep

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