2012 Screening Highlights
Over the past 4 months our 2011 participants have been actively screening their films all over Israel, Palestine and Canada. We wanted to share a few highlights with you…
On March 29th, two Palestinian Participants (Basil and Ibrahim), led screenings in Al Aqaba- a Palestinian village located in the Northern West Bank, close to Jordan. One session was for 9th and 10th grade students, and the second was for community members (including the town’s mayor and staff).
Rasha, our Palestinian Project Manager, told us that the screenings were very significant because people from Al Aqaba are very isolated and never interact with Israeli civilians. Al Aqaba is surrounded by two Israeli military bases and 95% of its buildings are at risk of demolition by the Israeli Authorities. (Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center)
"For the students, it was the first time they saw Israelis who were not in army uniforms.” Rasha said. “They were curious about the Israeli characters and their motivations, but they also asked challenging questions that reflected the reality of life in Al Aqaba. Even though the discussions were intense and critical of some of the messages of the films, they all said ‘yes’ when I asked if they would be willing to attend such a program themselves.” Rasha also cited that an audience member who was critical of the Israeli and Palestinian dancing together in the film Movement, later admitted to her that it gave him pause to think about what a real solution for peace would look like, something he never gave thought to before.
On March 31st, two Israeli participants (Iftach and Shoni) and one Palestinian participant (Basil) led a screening at the Yaffa Café in Jaffa / Yafo (a port city, adjacent to Tel-Aviv). The event was open to the public and included guests the youth had invited. In her screening report, Shelley, the Israeli Project Manager, told us:
“The most exciting thing for the audience was something the students tried to convey consciously, that these films were part of a cooperation between the two sides (with the Canadians in the middle). This is how the films were introduced, with a request to bear in mind that they are fruit of the work of the two sides. Every component of the film is agreed upon, so it is actually a living example of cooperation of the two sides. At the end, people reflected that what affected them most, was the cooperation behind the films.”
The café owner is now interested in doing more screenings so that the films can reach more people, and one of the audience members is working on getting the films into an upcoming Student Film Festival in Tel Aviv.
On April 29th, two Canadian participants (Julien and Tim) screened their films Common Grounds and Grave Digging to a class of 30 students in Langara College’s Peace and Conflict Studies program. After screening their fims, Julien and Tim led the students in a facilitated dialogue. The students eagerly delved into the complex issues at the root of the conflict and explored topics that included:
- The harmful influence of selective media representations
- What kinds of action could actually shift cycles of violence?
- The ethics of dialogue
One student, who had attended a screening and presentation of the 2008 Peace It Together films, remarked that being able to engage in a facilitated dialogue with other audience members, rather than just watching a presentation, allowed for a deeper and more meaningful experience.
The films themselves were well received. Feedback included the phrases “thought-provoking”, “powerful”, and “ moving”. One respondent said “because the films were short and symbolic, I was able to think more critically…”
HOST A SCREENING!
Do you know a class or campus group that would be interested in hosting Peace it Together? Are you part of a community group, youth group, or religious group that wants to dialogue about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict?
Get in touch to organize a screening.
firstname.lastname@example.org (Metha Brown – Canadian Project Manager)
Palestine@peaceittogether.com (Rasha Mukbil – Palestinian Project Manager)
Israel@peaceittogether.com (Shelley Hermon – Israeli Project Manager)