This may be one of the critical questions of the year. Another is: What to do about Palestine?
What to do after 50 years of occupation?
One answer is to be as fully informed as possible. Another is to inform oneself with an open mind and an open heart. Then, to share the awareness, have open discussions.
This process is what is revealed in one of our new films, Seeing Through the Wall: Meeting Ourselves in Palestine and Israel, which follows a group of Americans who traveled to Israel and Palestine in 2016 seeking to understand what life is like for Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and in East Jerusalem. They met with Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Christians and Muslims, each with their own narrative, most wishing to live in peace. They also encountered their own inner walls or misunderstandings about what life is like on a daily basis in this region, and return to the U.S. with a different vision that they wish to share.
The film recently screened at the White River Indie Film Festival, to a fully engaged audience. Another screening followed the next day at a retirement community near Dartmouth. The crowd here was also deeply moved and joined in an active discussion. A retired professor had seen the film when it was shown in Woodstock, VT and wanted to share it with his community. Participating in the discussion were Rabbi Dov Taylor, featured in the film, and filmmaker Anne Macksoud. The difference in audiences gives an idea of the reach of the film. We were also pleased to see that in both cases, the audience members were so engaged and had so much to say that it was difficult to bring the discussions to an end.
Some feedback from viewers include the following: “I’m afraid that Americans are so focused on the Trump administration that they are forgetting about the suffering and the needs of the rest of the world.” “We must not equate being Jewish with being Pro-Israeli government. That would be like saying if I am critical of the US government, I am anti-American.”
Early praise for Seeing Through the Wall
“I just want to tell you that your film is great! What I appreciate in particular is the way you take the viewer, along with the travelers, on a journey of gradual discovery. You don’t give us the conclusions or a drumbeat of ideology, but let us follow along. I know there is a huge split about Israel, as about everything these days, and I appreciate that your film takes a gentle, sympathetic position toward all sides. You create a tone of voice that I think is absolutely crucial if we are to make any progress.”
Susannah Heschel, Chair, Jewish Studies, Dartmouth College
“I have finally been able to look at your film, which is so moving. Sad beyond measure but you have brought so much truth forward without a tone of anger or recrimination.”
Very powerful and beautifully done.
Mary Evelyn Tucker, Founder -Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology
To purchase your own copy of Seeing Through the Wall, and obtain a copy of the discussion guide, click here.
Would you like to schedule a community screening and share the film with your church, synagogue, school or local group? Please contact us here.