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The Siege of Bethlehem
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The Boston Globe  Suzanne C. Ryan

"...in a detailed documentary, Frontline provides a behind-the-scenes look at the tense standoff and the key role that the United States played in defusing it.

With exclusive footage of both the Israeli chief negotiators at work outside the church and the armed Palestinians pent up inside, the film offers a rare, close-up look at the challenges of finding peace in the Middle East. ...

The documentary was filmed from the Israeli side of the stand-off, but October Films was able to incorporate some images of what was going on inside the church -- images from videotapes that were found there after the crisis ended. The filmmakers also shot footage of a Palestinian teen with his family after he was released from the church, as well as scenes of a Palestinian family reacting to news that its son was killed in the siege. ...

The program provides a narrow look at one incident in a broader war. It presents facts without any big-picture explanations. It will be most valuable to those already steeped in the history of the region. The filmmakers were restricted in their access, and thus see events primarily from the Israeli position, but they do not seem deliberately one-sided. ..."

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