The Intifada that began in December 1987 was brought on by the frustrations of young Palestinians in Arab territories under Israeli control. With virtually nothing to lose, faced with being powerless to control their own future, they took their struggles to the streets, armed only with stones. They encountered armed Israeli soldiers and were subsequently arrested and jailed in detention camps specially established for this purpose. One of the largest was Ansar 3, located in the Negev desert. DIOGENES: ANSAR 3 was filmed after the camp was closed. A team of Dutch and Israeli filmmakers revisit the period, talking with former guards who reveal their confusion over how Israeli Jews had traversed in one generation from inmates in concentration camps in Poland to a complete role reversal in the Negev desert. Former Palestinian inmates report on detention under horrible conditions, without due process of law. Some of the guards meet with former prisoners. They speak of emotional scars and of a future in which they hope peace is possible.
In February of 2000, Israeli and Palestinian filmmakers, academics and activists came together to plan the first-ever Human Rights Film Festival called "Basic Trust." Films about human rights issues from around the globe were shown in Tel Aviv, Nazareth and Ramallah. According to the Festival's founder, Osnat Tribelsi, it was DIOGENES: ANSAR 3 that inspired the cinematic partnership.