Pink Floyd’s song “High Hopes” is now the theme song of a recent film of the same name, depicting the plight of Palestinian Bedouin refugees, according to the Electronic Intifada. This documentary highlights the struggles of the Bedouin people displaced by Israel’s acquisition of Palestinian land.
Filmmaker Guy Davidi focuses on the villages in Jerusalem that were home to the Bedouin people, who, in some cases, have been forced to live in garbage dumps.
“The title of the film came from a Pink Floyd song; I got some interesting footage and edited it with the song in my head. When I was working on the film, this song came back to me. The sound is so heavy, the text is nostalgic, and the music brings forth despair. “
The irony of the film’s title and the song for which it is names, fits beautifully — if hauntingly — into the setting of the Bedouin plight as they search for their lost humanity.
One of the activists in High Hopes tells the audience the following.
“I am not crying for the Bedouins any more, I am crying for the people who have lost their humanity.”
This sentiment is perfectly echoed in the body of Pink Floyd’s work. The theme of losing oneself is something that Pink Floyd has always been able to touch upon with a haunting beauty that surpasses mere musical excellence.
This is not the first time Pink Floyd and its members have lent their music to political causes. Roger Waters, who is one of the founding members of Pink Floyd, is an outspoken critic of Israel’s occupation of Palestine and contributed music to another film by the Jahalin Association, Nowhere Left To Go. Waters also conducted a performance of the bands legendary album, The Wall, back in 1989 after the fall of the Berlin Wall. As reported by the fan-site Brain Damage, a Pink Floyd news site, Roger Waters also wrote the score to a film dealing with the atrocities of war titled When The Wind Blows, about an old couple who live in the aftermath of nuclear war.
Pink Floyd’s original members reunited for a brief time in 2005 for the benefit Live 8, a concert to raise awareness of the economic inequality in Africa. Up until then, the group had vowed never to work together again, however the cause was worthy enough to bring Pink Floyd back together. Live 8 marked the last time all 4 members of the band would share a stage.
That Pink Floyd’s music is so often touched upon in relation to themes of war is not without reason. The band formed during the turbulent 1960s, when themes of warfare were becoming central to the identities of rebellious teenagers. Its haunting qualities are partly influenced by the madness of Pink Floyd originator, Syd Barrett, who eventually went insane.
This element of insanity is part of what makes Pink Floyd’s music so relevant to issues regarding warfare, as war and war crimes carry an inherent sorrow and madness all their own.
Regardless of what your views are regarding the the struggles of Bedouins and Israel, it is hard to deny that Pink Floyd’s music provides a fitting ambiance to the horrors depicted in the film. Nor can it be said that Pink Floyd is a band that shys away from controversial subject matters, especially regarding warfare and insanity.What do you think about Pink Floyd granting the film maker the rights to their song?
High Hopes will be shown this Sunday at the London Short Film Festival and can be streamed for 1.99 on Indiflixx.