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A film by Simone Bitton
France/Belgium, 2009, 100 minutes, Color, DVD, French, Hebrew, Arabic, English subtitles
Order No. W111011
RACHEL is a startlingly rigorous, fascinating and deeply moving investigatory documentary that examines the death of peace activist and International Solidarity Movement (ISM) member Rachel Corrie, who was crushed by an Israeli army bulldozer in the Gaza Strip in 2003. A few weeks after her little-reported death, an inquiry by Israeli military police concluded that Corrie died in an accident. Simone Bitton (WALL), an award-winning documentary filmmaker who is a citizen of both France and Israel, has crafted a dispassionate but devastating essay investigating the circumstances of Rachel Corrie’s death—including astounding eyewitness testimony from activists, soldiers, Israeli Defense Force army spokespersons and physicians, as well as insights from Corrie’s parents, mentors and diaries.

In assembling a thorough and candid account of the event, using both visual and narrative evidence, Bitton’s quietly persistent questioning manages to accomplish what the inadequate legal proceedings and the overheated press coverage did not: an unflinching examination that refuses to exculpate or equivocate. By aligning her filmmaking methodology with the ISM’s guidelines to state only objective and concrete details without placing judgment, Bitton examines the circumstances surrounding the unresolved case of Corrie's death. The film begins like a classic documentary, but soon develops, transcending its subject and establishing a candid new visual approach for bearing witness. With understated cinematic techniques, Bitton captures the spirit of Rachel's youth, idealism, and political commitment amidst sweeping landscapes of Gaza and a portrait of daily life under ever-present military aggression.


  • Berlin International Film Festival
  • HotDocs
  • Tribeca Film Festival
  • San Francisco Jewish Film Festival
  • Chicago Palestinian Film Festival
  • UNAFF - United Nations Association Film Festival
  • Anthology Film Archives, NYC

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    "RACHEL should be seen by students in courses dealing with the Middle East as well as peace and conflict studies. This is more than just a film about one young woman's search for truth and her terrible end; this is a film about the tragedy of two peoples who long ago lost the idealism and the search for truth that still burned in Rachel Corrie. It is a portrait of how they became instead the hollow representations of the greatness that both believed was promised to them as the children of Abraham. "
    Abraham J. Peck, PhD
    Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights Studies, University of Maine at Augusta

    "****...RACHEL is an example of how to tell a complicated, controversial story without sacrificing humanity, heart or a sense of horror."
    Time Out (Critics' Pick)

    "A hushed, solemn investigation...Bitton, thorough in her research, shows but never tells, letting the evidence speak for itself. "
    The Village Voice

    “Recommended…a vivid journey.”

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    Rachel is included in the following Special Collections.
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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us