WATCH: Long trailer for “The Wanted 18: A True Story of Bovine Resistance”

A brilliant new documentary film is being produced in Palestine, focusing on a story that took place during the first intifada in the late 1980s in Beit Sahour near Bethlehem. As Palestinians rebelled against lethal Israeli policies across the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the Israeli military attempted to quash popular uprisings through unmitigated violence, repression and long-term curfews. But Palestinian resistance back then took many different and unique forms, as it still does today even after the formal intifadas have simmered.

The Wanted 18 — which is partly animated with exquisite claymation — follows a group of residents who came up with an idea to buy a small herd of cows, so that people could distribute fresh milk to the local community during spates of Israeli-enforced curfews. Shortly after learning about this plan, the Israeli military engaged in a hunt to find and destroy the cows. For four years. Residents hid the cows in various locations peppered throughout the city, and milk continued to be distributed to the community. Israel’s relentless search and destroy mission against a herd of dairy cows of course seems absurd, but as the film trailer tells us, “the cows meant Palestinian independence, and Israel could not tolerate that.” 

“[The Israeli soldiers] couldn’t handle psychologically what [was happening] in Beit Sahour,” says a member of the volunteer group who is interviewed in the film. “It wasn’t part of their education. It wasn’t part of what they had been taught about Arabs.” 

“The intifada was the expression by which we were able to gain back our lost dignity and pride,” he continues. “We didn’t need to have major artillery, nor tanks, nor [an] air force … it was much more than that.”

As Israeli policies of colonization and apartheid attempt to dismantle the culture of resistance in Palestine, from 1948 to 1987 to 2011, stories and film projects like these have tremendous power to inspire and fight back. 

The filmmakers have produced an 8-minute-long trailer for The Wanted 18:

The Wanted 18 is directed by Amer Shomali and co-produced by Saed Andoni (Dar Films), Dominique Barneaud (Agat Films), and Ina Fichman (Intuitive Pictures). A shorter trailer can be viewed here.

More information on the film can be found on the website for Intuitive Pictures:




The Psychology of the Occupier

Imagine for a moment the understanding by the Israelis of this symbolic act? When the issue is controlling another people, there is psychological motivation, when a people cannot have milk, cannot pick their own olives, etc. With each day, with each hour, the Israelis grow more ridiculous to the world, the Palestinians more powerful. God, or at least the God of our hearts and souls, would never act in such a manner. In time, even the God of Israel will perish for he will have no ground to stand on. God is only a fiction, where the truth is ignored. Each day the Israelis act in this manner, the bible diminishes as a credible source. We come now to think of it as propaganda. The reaction to the holocaust is the holocaust; like an abused child, he grows up to abuse?

Nora Barrows-Friedman

Nora Barrows-Friedman's picture

Nora Barrows-Friedman is a staff writer and associate editor at The Electronic Intifada, and is the author of In Our Power: US Students Organize for Justice in Palestine (Just World Books, 2014).