This Land Is Mine

Against the current backdrop of continuing attacks on Gaza, Nina Paley’s “This Land Is Mine” is the sort of acerbic satire that leaves a mark after its initial sting. It was released over a year ago but has resurfaced as timely commentary, going viral once again.

Technically speaking, it’s a simple animation played out with characters that look as if they were lifted from a Greecian urn. The short is part of a larger project planned by Paley:

I envisioned This Land Is Mine as the last scene of my potential-possible-maybe- feature film, Seder-Masochism, but it’s the first (and so far only) scene I’ve animated. As the Bible says, “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

And if you’re curious about the soundtrack:

This Land Is Mine is a PARODY of “The Exodus Song.” That music was sort of the soundtrack of American zionism in the 1960′s and 70′s. It was supposed to express Jewish entitlement to Israel. By putting the song in the mouth of every warring party, I’m critiquing the original song.

Ostensibly, the short is a critique of Israel’s current stance, but it goes far beyond our present moment in history, critiquing the use of “divinely ordained” force throughout time. It’s a prime example of an argument that can best be made with animation, which allows for the imaginative collapse of divisions in time and place without the expense or production time of live action.

For a breakdown of all the characters, visit Paley’s blog.