Film Image
Sonja de Vries
55 minutes
English subtitles
Trailer and More


REFUSENIKS uses stunning archival footage, still photos and interviews to document the stories of Israeli men and women who refuse to serve in the military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

In REFUSENIKS, we meet several Israeli men and women including 18-year-old Shani, an original signer of a letter condemning the occupation written by high school students to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. We're also introduced to Rami Kaplan, an officer who admits to ordering his men to shoot prisoners. Tal Belo, a medic in the army, wonders if his actions in the territories caused a young boy to become a suicide bomber. Tanya Reinhart, an Israeli journalist, contributes a historical perspective. They differ in their spiritual and political beliefs, some are ardent Zionists, and some question and challenge the concept of Zionism, but all of them have come to believe that taking a stand is crucial to their own humanity and to the future of their country.
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"Powerful, moving, inspiring... This film will contribute to solidarity between U.S. and Israeli soldiers of conscience." - Howard Zinn
"At once troubling and uplifting, REFUSENIKS exposes a growing chasm between young and idealistic citizen-soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces and what the occupation compelled them to do... Sonja de Vries has created a beautiful, honest, and unforgettable film, required viewing for any one who refuses to accept easy answers about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." - Joel Krieger, Prof. of Political Science, Wellesley College Wellesley
"REFUSENIKS" is a powerful testament to the courage and integrity of the young people who make up the refuser movement." - Rabbi Laurie Zimmerman, Jewish Voice for Peace
"As a Jew who has been very critical of Israel's military policies, I found it very heartening and inspiring to meet so many Israelis in REFUSENIKS who went into the army, had their eyes opened and have found the courage to take the personal risk of refusing to serve. This is an important story that needs to be heard." - Debra Chasnoff, documentary filmmaker

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