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Boulder resident featured in new film on Palestinian rock climbers

A group of people, some seated and some standing, pose under a brown rock wall
Courtesy of Tim Bruns
Tim Bruns (center left) poses with a group of Palestinian climbers. "Resistance Climbing" is a new short film by Reel Rock Films about Palestinian-American rock climber and writer Andrew Bisharat as he returns to Palestine to explore his heritage. The film premiered in Boulder earlier this month and features Boulder resident Tim Bruns, who also served as a producer on the project.

As a student at Colorado College in 2012, Boulder resident and rock climber Tim Bruns said he and his friend were studying Arabic when they came up with the idea to start a rock climbing community in Palestine.

Two years later, Bruns and his friend Will Harris moved to the Middle East in the hopes of introducing the sport to people in a country embroiled with conflict where there weren't many recreational opportunities.

Since then, Bruns said their Palestine climbing community has grown. His group uses the sport as a tool to encourage self-expression and build positive relationships with others.

"When we visited Palestine we realized that it was not only suffering under over 50 years of Israeli military occupation, but it was also a place where people were really receptive to the idea of rock climbing," Bruns said.

The sport's impact on one climber with links to Palestine is the basis for a new feature film titled "Resistance Climbing." The movie follows the journey of Palestinian-American rock climber and writer Andrew Bisharat as he returns to Palestine to explore his heritage.

Bruns, who appears in the film and also serves as one of the producers, said he tried for years to get the Boulder-based climbing film company Reel Rock to produce it after he and Harris settled in Palestine. It was almost a decade after Bruns first pitched the idea to Reel Rock in 2014 that the film debuted, though.

"I'm glad that they waited because now there's something really cool to show for the project, " said Bruns. "It's making for a great experience to introduce them to this community and to show them what climbing in Palestine is all about.”

Bruns said he hopes that people who see the film come away with a more positive outlook about Palestine and its community.

“If they're rock climbers, they should consider going to Palestine to do just that," said Bruns. "If they go there, they'll find a welcoming, warm and receptive climbing community that is unlike anywhere else I've visited in my life as a rock climber.”

“Resistance Climbing" is one of three films being featured this year by Reel Rock. It premiered in Boulder earlier this month and will be showing in front of a sold out audience at The Oriental Theater in Denver this week.

I serve as the afternoon host for KUNC’s All Things Considered. My job is to keep our listeners across Northern Colorado informed on the day’s top stories from around the communities we serve. On occasion, I switch roles and hit the streets of northern Colorado digging up human interest stories or covering a major event that’s taking place in our listening area.
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