Directed by Leila Sansour • Documentary • 2017 • 90 minutes
Reports predict that if trends continue the Christian community of Bethlehem, a city that provides a model for a multi-faith Middle East, may be unsustainable within one generation. The enormous wall and ongoing Israeli settlements are strangling the city. Leila Sansour's plan to stay a year stretches to seven, and is only resolved when she realizes that, sometimes, the biggest dreams take flight from the smallest places.
OPEN BETHLEHEM is a story of a homecoming to the world's most famous little town. The film spans seven momentous years in the life of Bethlehem, revealing a city of astonishing beauty and political strife under occupation. The film draws from 700 hours of original footage and some rare archive material. In fact the making of this film has led to the creation of the largest visual archive of Bethlehem in the world and plans are currently being discussed with University College London (UCL) to turn the collection into a museum.