Directed by Paul Cowan and Amer Shomali • 2014 • Canada, Palestine
Through a clever mix of stop-motion animation and interviews, THE WANTED 18 recreates an astonishing true story: the Israeli army’s pursuit of eighteen “outlaw” cows. In response to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, a group of Palestinian residents from the town of Beit Sahour decide to buy eight cows and produce their own milk as a cooperative. Their venture is so successful that the collective farm becomes a landmark, and the cows local celebrities—until the Israeli army declares the farm an illegal security threat. Forced to go underground, the dairy continues to produce its “Intifada milk” with the Israeli army in relentless pursuit. Relating the story of the “wanted eighteen” from the perspectives of the Beit Sahour activists, Israeli military officials, and the cows, Palestinian artist Amer Shomali and codirector Paul Cowan create an enchanting, inspirational tribute to the ingenuity and power of grassroots activism.