We’re all being bombarded by TV, radio, emails and newspaper articles about the ‘situation’ in Israel/Palestine. Although the situation is generally depressing there are a few optimistic points. A most profound and uplifting one is a documentary I recently saw. The documentary, Encounter Point, will be shown at the Quad Cinema in Manhattan from Nov. 17-23rd. This film tells the story of everyday Israelis and Palestinians. It features a former Israeli settler, a Palestinian ex-prisoner, and a bereaved Israeli mother and Palestinian brother, each of whom had a loved one killed in the ongoing violence. However, instead of seeking revenge they risked their lives to bring about peace and a nonviolent end to the conflict.
The movie was directed and produced by a team of Israelis, Palestinians, and North and South Americans. It has already been screened, with critical acclaim, in Haifa, Jerusalem and Gaza. In Jerusalem, San Francisco and Tribeca it won accolades.
After its New York screening the movie will continue on to audiences across North America. Encounter Point will not only be shown several times daily at the Quad, but on Nov. 17-19th, a Q&A will be held with its directors. If you’re interested in more information about the film, check out www.encounterpoint.com and for screening times at the Quad Cinema, www.quadcinema.com
What makes this film even more compelling are the many positive reactions from those who have already viewed it. A college student from Jenin said, “This film is different. I didn’t think such people existed.” From a young woman in Tel Aviv, “As an Israeli watching the film, I laughed, I cried…It was great.” From the Jewish Week, “One of the few guardedly optimistic films about the Middle East that I have seen in many years.” And the most inspiring was from a Seeds of Peace board member, “Never before has the activist community found such a powerful call. In a world of continually shifting blame for the thousands upon thousands of lost lives, the decades of fear and occupation and the dread of millions that their stories will never have a champion, no one can argue or misrepresent the articulate voices of bereaved family members and wizened peace activists this film alone has captured. Whether you are hardened to the politics of the Middle East or new to the depths of stoicism that dominate the region, you will not be able to dislodge the voice of these activists, calling out from the grave on behalf of their family and friends.”