While there seems to be an international consensus that Middle East peace requires a two-state solution, acts of terrorism or new Israeli settlements continually interrupt political negotiations. Inspiring docu “State 194” traces some positive developments that may pave the way to peace, or perhaps an independent Palestine accepted by the United Nations. Israeli helmer Dan Setton follows Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad from 2009-11 as he effectively builds the bedrocks of civil society in preparation for nationhood. Despite playing at times like a celebratory infomercial, the broadcast-ready pic deserves dates on pubcasters and cable worldwide.
Charismatic technocrat Fayyad admits he modeled his ambitious plan “Ending the Occupation, Establishing the State” on the bottom-up strategy the Israelis used for U.N. admission in 1949. He travels the West Bank, inaugurating schools, hospitals, roads, cultural institutions and core institutions of governance. Although Gaza and Hamas rep unsolved problems, the docu shows how international opinion-makers support Palestine’s unilateral statehood bid, and a new generation of Palestinian and Israeli activists have found common cause for hope; too bad the Israeli government panicked. Visuals encompass a surfeit of motorcade arrivals; jumpy editing suffers from ADD.