The Wanted 18

Amer Shomali, Paul Cowan

Humorous documentary that in a rather unusual way tells the remarkable story of eighteen Israeli cows that fell into Palestinian hands during the first intifada. Using animation images, interviews and archive footage, Palestinian cartoonist and director Amer Shomali illustrates why Israeli soldiers considered the grass-eating ruminants as subversive terrorists, and makes a compelling case for non-violent opposition.

During the first intifada in 1987 a group of inhabitants of the small village Beit Sahour on the West Bank tries to imagine how they can peacefully resist the Israeli occupation. Thinking up ways to become independent from Israel, so that they will no longer have to pay taxes and become self-sufficient, they collectively buy eighteen cows to set up a dairy farm. Their undertaking is a huge success and the cows soon become local heroes providing ‘intifada milk’ to the population. When the Israeli soldiers get wind of it, they close the dairy farm, branding the cows as ‘subversive to the Israeli state’.

Humorous movie that sheds a refreshing light on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, seen through the eyes of both the cows and the Palestinians.


Amer Shomali, Paul Cowan
Ina Fichman, Saed Andoni
Country of production
Canada, Palestine, France
75 minutes
Spoken language
Arabic, English, Hebrew
Production company
Bellota Films
World Sales
National Film Board of Canada