Grassroots in Dry Lands


A feature documentary by Helene Klodawsky

Produced by Nathalie Barton, Informaction and Kat Baulu, National Film Board of Canada

Distributor: Icarus Films, Brooklyn NY

Shot in Palestine, Israel, and Jordan, GRASSROOTS IN DRY LANDS tells the story of three unconventional social workers united by a common vision, one that transcends the antagonisms between their countries. Nuha, from Nablus (Palestine), Talal, from Amman (Jordan), and Amit, from Sderot (Israel) work to empower some of the region’s most disenfranchised, war-scarred communities in an effort to build a just and civil society.

Grassroots bus shelter_8230

What people are saying:

A story of hope and commonality of human experience.” —Dr.Edip Yavuz Zeybek, Chairperson, Intercultural Dialogue Institute
Social workers are on the front lines, and it is important that we understand how difficult, and skilled it is to do this work… The contrast between individual and systemic issues is well-done… GRASSROOTS IN DRY LANDS is poignant and very moving… I loved it.

Elizabeth (Bessa) Whitmore, Professor Emerita at Carleton University School of Social Work, Ottawa, Canada

Gives viewers a glimpse into how high politics and private experiences are intertwined. Across three societies, we see that people’s everyday pain may be a function of structural oppression, and that peace in the Middle East may ultimately depend on people’s ability to seek justice in their own families and communities.” —Mira Sucharov, Associate Professor of Political Science, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada

Shows us there is another way, a better way, to deal with discrimination and poverty. The film gives us hope, and is an affirmation of the basic goodness of human beings.” —Dale Dodge, Development and Peace, Caritas Canada

Gives us a window into the heart of positive change, social justice and peace. Supported by elegant, soulful sound and graceful, honest visuals, the film highlights the work of Canadian-trained social workers and the people they work with in disadvantaged communities in Israel, Jordan and the West Bank.” —Sharon Gubbay Helfer, Ph.D., Intercultural-Mid East Dialogue Facilitator & Oral Historian

Offering case studies of the challenges and small victories of community organizers in Palestine, Jordan and Israel, this film lets us see the day-to-day work that is remarkably similar in the three settings we are too often taught to see as fundamentally different … A deeply moving film.” —Dr. Jill Hanley, Associate Professor, McGill School of Social Work