On August 17, 2005, the Israeli army began the forced eviction of a number of Jewish settlements in the Palestinian Gaza Strip. As part of the Israeli government’s “withdrawal policy”, footage was shown on Dutch television for a few days of soldiers forcing families to leave their homes and settlements. The images on display were often sad and full of angry, screaming adults and crying children. This image is the same that shows “Yedidiah’s Collection”.
The documentary starts in February 2005, six months before the eviction. Yedidiah is a sweet and cheerful little boy who is always busy with friends and has a very special hobby: he collects remains of (kassam) missiles, bullets from machine guns and rifles and all kinds of other found “war objects”; all to remind him of the difficult times he and his family went through in Morag. He is very proud of his collection and proudly claims that it is the largest anyone in his hometown will ever have.
Yedidiah talks a lot about the possible eviction, but, like his family and many friends in the settlement, hopes that it will not go ahead. Yedidiah is especially afraid because he does not know where he will end up after his family has to leave the hometown. Six months later, the day arrives that all settlers hoped they would never have to experience. This situation creates many sad and moving moments and Yedidiah cannot always keep his emotions under control. Eventually, Yedidiah and his family are evicted from the house and set off for an as yet unknown destination.
Despite the fact that “Yedidiah’s Collection” is a very short documentary, as a viewer you quickly feel a sense of Yedidiah and the situation in which he finds himself. As an outsider it seems very unfair that he has to experience such an unpleasant situation as a young child. It is nice to see that Yedidiah’s character comes out so well in these short eighteen minutes and that he is a very cheerful and positive little boy until the last moment. This moving film is very rewarding and captures the fears and dreams of a small child. Highly recommended.