“Oh, excuse me President Arafat, we were just wondering if you had any message for the people of New Zealand?.”
From Christmas in Bethlehem: a naivety story.
In late 2003 comedian and would-be war-correspondent Andrew J. Lumsden (Te Radar) manages to persuade his good friend Aaron Watson (of Timor ODDyssey fame) to accompany him to Israel and Palestine to shoot a film about the conflict, despite the fact that Watson was not a cameraman, but a tour guide in Europe, and suffers from a degenerative eye disease.
He has promised Watson nothing but that they will eat a chicken in Bethlehem on Christmas day, and informs him that he also has to pay his own way.
It would be fair to say that Te Radar’s knowledge of the situation is limited.
He is also particularly inept at dealing with contacts, especially when it comes to taking note of directions. He is not ideally suited to being a journalist.
Nonetheless, the two arrive in Tel Aviv at the beginning of December knowing no-one, with no plan, bar eating the chicken on Christmas day.
Nevertheless, they embark on a journey of discovery, seeking answers, but eventually leave with more questions than they arrived with.
Christmas in Bethlehem: a naivety story is the story of one mans desire to seek answers about the nature of the Israeli / Palestinian conflict.
It is part travel show, part current affairs, part historical documentary.
It combine’s the trials and tribulations of this man, and the friend he has convinced to accompany him, as they attempt to pursue the answers they seek, and so is as much their journey as it is the story of the people they meet, and the issues the stumble upon.
It is also a meditation on the nature of truth, as they question the nature of what they are seeing, ask who they can believe, and what truth will they present in the finished film.
Christmas in Bethlehem: a naivety story contain moments of drama, of poignancy, of danger, and of sheer unadulterated confusion and stupidity.