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Production   /  Esther Takac

We Don’t Want You Here

From trauma to healing; enemies until their common grief united them in the fight for peace


Impact areas




  • DIRECTOR Esther Takac

  • PRODUCER Sue Thompson



WE DON’T WANT YOU HERE is a film about personal responses to traumatic loss within conflict. It explores how, after such pain, some people go on to develop new strengths. Through my lens as a trauma psychologist we meet two Palestinians and two Israelis, two women and two men, whose child or parent was killed in this unrelenting conflict. But instead of finding hate or despair, we discover Bushra, Rami, Meytal, and Bassam, all committed to transforming their grief into reconciliation. Although they face opposition from family, community and their governments, they never give up. For each has glimpsed the nobility of their enemy. And they will not cease until their peoples and the world listen. We follow their remarkable journeys through heartbreaking pain, internal struggles and courageous shifts in thinking, stirring us to hope. This story about building peace with your enemy, about the possibility of private transformation and political change, inspires us all.

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38.37% funded
  • $86,000.00

  • $33,000.00

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Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

As the Israeli-Palestinian conflict rages on relentlessly, innocent people are killed on both sides and more trauma, hatred and fear are created. Past efforts at peace negotiations have failed due to grassroots violence and a lack of political courage. New peace plans are unlikely to succeed without changing the hate and fear in both Israeli and Palestinian societies. Through their many activities the Israeli Palestinian Bereaved Families organization works hard to change the culture of conflict. But despite their ongoing work, few people across the world have heard of them and they are not having the impact they should. The lack of courageous leadership and stagnant political situation on both sides further underlines the urgency of fighting for strong partnerships between Israelis and Palestinians. This film aims to give these amazing people a bigger voice. So there may be hope for people living with trauma and conflict in Israel Palestine and across the globe.


What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

This film challenges stereotypes and shows how even in conflict situations empathy can be developed for the other. The characters’ journeys reveal how even after the death of a child or parent, it’s still possible to understand the trauma of the other side and work towards reconciliation, thus providing a model for their own peoples and others across the globe. These personal storiesof healing signal the steps their peoples could take on the road to peace.


What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

The film hopes for outcomes on personal, national and international levels. On the personal level we aim to create awareness of the possibility of psychological growth and understanding of the other, even after trauma. On national and international levels, we aim to challenge negative stereotypes, reduce fear, mistrust and hate, develop empathy and work towards conflict resolution. The film aims to raise awareness of the Israeli-Palestinian Bereaved Families organization and build their civic change power. As this awareness grows, proving that despite loss these two peoples can work together towards peace, further pressure can be brought to bear on their political leaders to move forward. Finally the film provides inspiration and a model for how other people in conflict may enter into dialogue and work towards peace. Thus the film aims to change minds and behaviours, grow the community supporting Israeli Palestinian Bereaved Families and ultimately drive changes in political policy.


How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?

Partnerships are already in place with Combatants for Peace, The Wasatia Centre for Moderate Islam and Reconciliation, The Peres Centre for Peace, Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem and New Israel Fund. People from these organisations have been consulted regarding the film, thereby ensuring the narrative and perspective is well informed, fair and balanced. A collaborative partnership exists with Israeli Palestinian Bereaved Families such that the organisation has given me full cooperation and access to their printed and film materials. Furthermore relationships are in place with local Jewish, Muslim and Palestinian organizations and communities in Australia. These organisations will promote screenings and maximize audiences, tapping into the existing reach of each organization.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

We hope viewers change negative stereotypes or preconceived notions about Palestinians or Israelis and that there is a reduction in fear, mistrust and hate, and an increase in empathy for the other. We hope viewers come away with the understanding that there people on the other side to talk to about reconciliation and peaceful ways to resolve the conflict , creating just solutions for both Israelis and Palestinians. We hope viewers actively support the work of Israeli Palestinian Bereaved Families and other organisations working in the space of Israeli Palestinian collaboration and conflict resolution. We hope viewers rally their local communities and pressure politicians to reduce negative stereotyping, support conflict resolution and work towards policy change.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

Indicators for success include the number of people who watch the film as well as the number of community screenings organised. We will look at how many people attend events where the characters from the film speak and how many people engage with the online education material. We will monitor how many screenings take place at schools, interfaith organisations, adult education and NGO’s both locally and internationally. We will assess changes in attitudes about stereotypes, reduction of fear, mistrust and hate of the other, and increase in empathy through questions asked online and after screenings of the film. After seeing the film and engaging with the educational material we will assess the changes in viewers’ belief in the importance of, and hopes for conflict resolution. We will assess how much funding is raised for the organisation. We will assess conversation in the media on the topic and changes in policy.