Israel and the Arab: Elusive Peace

Brook Lapping   |   UK

Israel and the Arabs: Elusive Peace has excellent archive footage but what is unique is the outstanding way this works with the interviews to make you feel you are there. For example episode 2 has unique film of Arafat under siege - but the picture of him quivering restrained by his aides among the rubble is made great by the interviewee who tells you he has just stopped Arafat from running down to confront Israeli tanks with his little pistol. Its this marrying of archive and interview that the series does so well. Other examples: The most extraordinary fly-on-the-wall film in episode 3, the secret conversation between the Israeli Chief of Staff and his Palestinian counterpart at the Aqaba summit - would be meaningless snatched sentences if the interviews with the participants didn't explain what they were conspiring about. In fact rather ordinary film in episode 1 of Secretary of State Madeleine Albright coming out of a meeting with President Chirac scowling comes alive when Albright in interview says "I gave him the dirtiest look !" The Independent - 03/10/2005 Robert Hanks: Norma Percy's documentaries turn the dry world of international politics into thrilling, must-see television. Through a combination of archive footage and interviews with "everybody who matters", you are given the impression of sitting in on history. You can get a sense of the way clashes of personalities and, sometimes, unexpected sympathies between enemies, can shape our world.