Unsettled – Movies that Matter

Unsettled follows the 2005 concession by the Israeli government to remove Jewish settlements from Gaza a 40-kilometre strip of land occupied mostly by Arabs along the Israeli-Egyptian border. Director Adam Hootnick does an admirable job of examining the countless issues surrounding the situation including the unusual job of the Israeli army which is charged with evacuating its own people from the embattled region. Hootnick interviews both protestors and supporters of the evacuation in an effort to include every point of view.

The most affecting moments of the film come when Hootnick follows a battalion of Israeli soldiers on their mission through Gaza removing people from their homes. The soldiers are confronted by settlers who question both their patriotism and their religion. The quieter moments are some of the most intense revealing soldiers praying with the families before forcing them to leave.

Ultimately Unsettled is most sympathetic towards the protestors of the evacuation though it does its best not to cast the soldiers as villains. Hootnick rightfully does not try to offer any solutions to a seemingly unsolvable situation and deftly shows that differing opinions exist on both sides — from Israeli citizens who support the withdrawal from Gaza to soldiers who don’t believe in the work they are being asked to do. The lack of any kind of fulfilling conclusion to the film is just further proof of the difficulties that face the region.