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Human Weapon
Directed by Ilan Ziv
Produced by Ilan Ziv & Serge Gordey
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For those unsatisfied with sensational television coverage featuring "terrorism experts," HUMAN WEAPON provides the first sober, in-depth examination of the complexities of the suicide bombing phenomenon.

Filmed in Iran, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Israel, Palestine, Europe and the United States, HUMAN WEAPON weaves dramatic, previously unseen footage together with interviews of key militants whose organizations use suicide bombing as part of their strategy. It supplements these scenes with powerful human stories.

- In Iran, the film looks at the "prototype" for the human weapon - the Basiji - young volunteers who were recruited to sacrifice themselves on the battlefield during Iran's long war with Iraq.

- In Lebanon, the film combines interviews with key leaders of Hizbollah (the Party of God) and a former CIA agent with rare archival material and footage of a haunting visit to the family of a martyr. It also explores the very first suicide bombings - attacks directed at the U.S. Embassy and Marine barracks in 1983.

- In Sri Lanka, the films examines the Tamil Tiger separatist movement, which took suicide bombings to the next level by launching hundreds of suicidal attacks against both military and political targets.

- In Israel and the Palestinian territories, the film interviews failed suicide bombers, key leaders of Hamas and other militant organizations, Israeli doctors, and Palestinian psychiatrists. The film draws an intimate portrait of a recent suicide bomber and his community on the West Bank, to trace the recent phase in the evolution of suicide bombing: the ultimate weapon of terror, the political strategy of targeting civilians.

- Finally, in the United States, HUMAN WEAPON explores, with the help of well-known author Robert Jay Lifton, some of the far-reaching historical ramifications of suicide bombing.

HUMAN WEAPON is not primarily concerned with suicide bombing as a local phenomenon in a particular conflict. Rather, it strives to understand the recent history, and how the introduction of this new weapon has unleashed a different kind of warfare, whose impact we are yet to grasp.

"**** (4 Stars!). Chilling and instructive."—David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor

"A gripping and important documentary."—Stephen Holden, New York Times

"HUMAN WEAPON provides an in-depth view into the global trend of suicide bombing and contextualizes resistence groups in their appropriate place in history."—Middle East Studies Association Bulletin

"The film debunks many of the stereotypes about suicide bombers. Truly disturbing. ...some scenes will stay with me for weeks."—Janus Head

"Powerfully analytical."—Bob Campbell, Star-Ledger (NJ)

"Highly Recommended... this is an excellent introduction to this currently prevalent form of warfare."—Educational Media Reviews Online

2002 Middle East Studies Association FilmFest
2002 Prix Europa, Special Commendation (2nd Prize)

55 minutes / color
Closed Captioned
Release: 2002
Copyright: 2002
Sale: $348

Subject areas:
Conflict Resolution, History (World), Human Rights, Middle East, Political Science, Psychology, Religion, Sociology, Terrorism

Related Links:
The Films of Ilan Ziv

Related Titles:
Generation X-Saddam
The Junction: They had little in common in life, but Israeli soldier David Biri and Palestinian Fahmi Abou Ammouneh are linked in death, their fates tied to a Gaza crossroads between an Israeli settlement and Palestinian refugee camp.

On The Objection Front: When a group of Israeli officers and soldiers announced that, while willing to serve in Israel's defense, they would no longer participate in the "War of the Settlements." they provoked fierce reactions in Israeli society.

20 Years Old in the Middle East: Filmed after the fall of Saddam Hussein, this film traverses the region - from Jordan to Syria, Iran, and Lebanon - to take the pulse of Arab and Iranian youth.

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