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17 juillet 2006

Reels for peace

It might seem that this moment would be the worst possible time to call for Israeli-Palestinian dialogue as a way to end the conflict, but two documentaries at this year's Jerusalem Film Festival (which began on July 6th and runs till the 15th) both strongly endorse dialogue as the best solution.

Lilly Rivlin's Can You Hear Me? Israeli and Palestinian Women Fight for Peace and Ronit Avni's Encounter Point focus on how dialogue, even with those with whom you have the most heated and profound disagreement, can bring positive and significant change. The outlook of the filmmakers and the message of their films is extremely similar (the main difference is that Rivlin looks exclusively at women peace activists on both sides), as is the fact that both directors have deep connections to Israel - Rivlin was born in Jerusalem to a family that has lived in the city for seven generations and Avni's father is Israeli - but live in New York. (...)

(...) Encounter Point has been shown at many festivals around the world, including the prestigious Hot Docs festival and the San Francisco International Film Festival, where it recently won the Audience Award. Before making Encounter Point, Avni founded Just Vision, a non-profit organization that aims to widen the influence of both Israelis and Palestinians working for peace. She has produced and written several previous short films in collaboration with filmmakers from Brazil, Africa and the US as part of the efforts of WITNESS, rock star Peter Gabriel's human rights organization.(...)

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