The Human Factor Movie Review


Bringing peace to the Middle East is something sought after by every United States President and Secretary of State who takes office.
Donald Trump thought he could do it, telling us from the podium that he could lead the movement better than anyone else. It didn’t happen. Jimmy Carter came close, but it wasn’t in the cards; however, it almost happened under Bill Clinton. He desperately wanted to preside over a peace deal before leaving office. The issues are that for over a hundred years, Jews and Arabs have fought over the same strip of land, called the Golan Heights, between Syria and Israel. The Arab/Israeli conflict has since become the most enduring and violent in modern times. Worst of all, it poses a significant threat to world peace, as well as their own. Palestinians remain stateless, living under Israeli military occupation, and until this can be settled, there will be no peace.


After watching this movie, I wonder if they’ll meet again even to try. I feel the need to mention that this seems, but this seems all too familiar in the U.S., with our two major government parties not getting along very well. The Republicans and the Democrats struggle to agree on policies or anything at this point. Though we’re not at war, with the riots that happened in Washington on January 6th, 2021, it isn’t hard to imagine that it could lead to such a place of division.


Dror Moreh, who directed this informative film, has some skin in the game as he’s from Jerusalem, the capital of Israel. Educating those who don’t know what’s happening in his homeland is very important to him and desperately needed. With this in mind, he has made an intense documentary filled with those in the know.
In 1991, when the United States was the only global superpower, stability in the Middle East was crucial to American interests. To keep those interests secure, the U.S. became a peacemaker between Isreal and its Arab neighbors. What Moreh achieved for this documentary was to interview the American negotiators involved so his audience would get the information straight from the source. The raw footage that accompanies the interviews is outstanding and with such a touchy subject, putting this all together was quite an achievement.


At first, we see George H. Bush’s Secretary of State, James Baker, make extensive headway on negotiating historic peace talks between the Middle East leaders. But the movie centers mainly on Clinton’s administration running with it.
Suppose you didn’t know much about them. In that case, you’ll learn a lot about the foreign leaders, Yasser Arafat (President of the Palestinian State) and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, and the relationship between them. Also, how the United States was responsible for it beginning to build by helping to create the Oslo Accords. Sadly, everything ends with the assassination of Rabin and then Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu taking his place.


The prominent people interviewed, and we get so much firsthand knowledge from them, are Clinton’s spokesmen, Daniel Kurtzer, Aaron David Miller, Martin Indyk, and Dennis Ross. Among so many facts, these representatives explain how a relationship must be established for there ever to be credibility and trust. The chance for those things to happen doesn’t often happen, unfortunately.
For someone to see themselves as not being manipulated, every party must have the capacity to put themselves in someone else’s shoes. How can negotiations start when one or both sides cannot demonstrate empathy?
When Rabin agrees to meet, some terms must be met. This part of the film was simply fascinating to me, almost comical in a way. If for no other reason, you have to see this movie for all the ways the Oslo Accords were successful.
There is so much here your head will spin. I’m happy I saw this and will now go back and watch Dror Moreh’s Academy Award-nominated film, ‘The Gatekeepers.’ Please don’t miss ‘The Human Factor.’ We owe it to ourselves to know and understand our leaders and those around us. This film was quite an education and will help get you started.



The Human Factor


Director: Dror Moreh
Writers: Oron Adar, Dror Moreh
Stars: Gamal Helal, Martin Indyk, Daniel Kurtzer
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1h 48m
Genres: Documentary



Rating contributor: ShariK.Green tmc
I'm the Sr. Film Writer and Community Manager for I write, direct and produce short films with my production company, Good Stew Productions. I'm now working on my first feature film which is a lot of work but a lot of fun! Though it's hard to answer this questions when asked, I'd say my favorite movie is “The Big Chill.” I enjoy photography, poetry, and hiking and I adore animals, especially elephants. I live in Arizona and feel it's an outstanding and inspirational place to live.

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