Simone Bitton

In 2003, 23-year-old American activist Rachel Corrie was killed when she tried to prevent the Israeli army from bulldozing Palestinian homes in Rafah, in the Gaza Strip. She was run over by a bulldozer. According to research by the Israeli army, her death was an accident. According to Palestinians and foreign activists, however, the bulldozer driver deliberately ran over Rachel. Moroccan filmmaker Simone Bitton reconstructs the case in 'Rachel'. She seeks eyewitnesses from all sides involved, and compares their stories. Not only does the film provide new insights into the death of Rachel, it also tells the story of her idealism and political engagement.
Members of the International Solidarity Movement, of which Rachel was a part, read extracts from her diaries. Bitton spent three years making the film. It was not easy for her on the one hand to convince Rachel’s family of her goodwill and on the other to get the representative of the Israeli army to speak – but she manages both. As part of the programme A Matter of ACT, the festival shows the film 'To Shoot an Elephant', made by Alberto Arce in co-operation with International Solidarity Movement. International Solidarity Movement is nominated for the Golden Butterfly Award for most impressive human rights activist or organization. 


Simone Bitton
Thierry Lenouvel
Country of production
France, Belgium
100 minutes
Spoken language
Arabic, English, Hebrew
Production company
Ciné-Sud Promotion
World Sales
uMedia France
Dutch distributor