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Common Ground Film Festival - 2006

  • Jun 10, 2010
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All of these films are worth viewing. They are all powerful and send a deep message that we can all learn from. Just pop them in the DVD player (or stream them online) for your viewing pleasure!

The power of the media – and of film – can be used to develop greater understanding and tolerance, and can contribute to defusing conflict rather than inflaming it. Films can demonstrate, in informative and entertaining ways, that workable solutions can be found to contentious problems.

Our goals in sponsoring the Series are to:
- Showcase films that contribute to preventing and reducing conflict
- Honor filmmakers who work within this framework
- Encourage future productions that promote understanding, tolerance, and peaceful coexistence
- Popularize this kind of filmmaking
- Move audiences from viewing to dialogue to action

Source: http://www.sfcg.org/programmes/filmfestival/programmes_filmseries.html
1
In My Country- Directed by John Boorman
"A beautiful and important film about South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It will engage and influence not only South Africans, but people all over the world concerned with the great questions of human reconciliation, forgiveness, and tolerance." -- Nelson Mandela

"Making this film was the most emotionally overwhelming experience of my career, dealing on a daily basis with the pain and agony of all those stories from the Apartheid past. This experience has taught me about the possibility of making the world a little better. It's truly wonderful that South Africa, which has suffered so terribly from racism, is now able to teach the world a lesson in healing. My fond hope is that the film, which is dedicated to Nelson Mandela and the oppressed of South Africa, will have captured some measure of this spirit." -- John Boorman, Director
2
The Shape of the Future- Directed by L. Allen Scheid
In July 2005, The Shape of the Future became the first TV series ever simultaneously broadcast on Israeli, Palestinian, and Arab Satellite TV. The series explores - on a very human level - how Israelis and Palestinians might make peace. The emphasis is on building the future, not on reliving the past. The series delves deeply into each of the final status issues that divide Palestinians and Israelis: Security, Jerusalem, Palestinian Refugees, and Settlements.
3
Encounter Point- Directed by Ronit Avni
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is perhaps the most divisive, polarizing and documented political issue of our time. Just Vision moves beyond sensational, dogmatic and canned images to tell the story of an Israeli settler, a convicted Palestinian fighter, a bereaved Israeli mother and a wounded Palestinian ex-prisoner who sacrifice their safety, public standing, communities and homes in order to press for a grassroots movement for nonviolence and peace. Their journeys lead them to the unlikeliest places to stem hatred among their peoples and confront fear within themselves. Just Vision explores what drives these and thousands of other like-minded civilians to overcome anger and grief, and to work for peace. This film is dedicated to the thousands of Israelis and Palestinians who believe that nonviolence is the most effective means to end the conflict.
4
West Bank Story- Directed by Ari Sandel, Improbable Pairs- Directed by Paul Andrews, and Dinner for Two- Directed by Janet Pearlman
West Bank Story:
No stereotype is left unturned as "West Side Story" comes to the West Bank in this musical comedy. Rival restaurants Humus Hut and Kosher King are busy cooking up Middle Eastern delights and hateful songs about each other, while a forbidden love affair unfolds between a beautiful Humus Hut Palestinian cashier and an Israeli checkpoint soldier. Can the couple's love withstand a 2000-year-old conflict and their families' desire to control the future of the chic pea in the Middle East?

Improbable Pairs:
We know all too well what war looks like, but rarely do we see images of what peace looks like. In these short film pieces, we see people who might well have become implacable enemies, but are instead working for peace together. These images are powerful reminders that people can reach across profound barriers to create new hope.

Dinner for Two:
Peace in the rain forest is disrupted when two chameleons get "stuck" in a conflict, with catastrophic results. As they battle each other, these two small animals realize that their conflict affects not just them, but the entire forest. Luckily, a frog observing the fracas figures out how to mediate the conflict. Dinner for Two tackles conflict in a lively and humorous way. It shows that amidst the chaos that differences can create, there are still paths to reconciliation. This award-winning animated film is designed as a flexible tool to explore conflict resolution - from teaching toddlers to share toys to encouraging national leaders to peacefully settle border disputes, the film has messages for a wide range of audiences.
5
Talk Mogadishu- Directed by Judy Jackson
HornAfrik, the first independent TV and radio station in war-ravaged Mogadishu, was created in the face of chaos and devastation. A decade after the disastrous humanitarian intervention by the U.S. in Somalia, HornAfrik was established by three brave Somali-Canadians. Their vision was to forge a path to peace through freedom of expression, impartial news, and dialogue. The station's talk shows are widely popular, providing a unique way for Mogadishu's marginalized residents, including women's groups and human rights advocates, to speak out without being silenced. It is a venture not without danger; HornAfrik has been attacked more than once by angry warlords displeased with the station's content. Despite the perils, the founders of HornAfrik continue their broadcasts, creating a blueprint for the role of the media in times of conflict.
6
Walk on Water- Directed by Eytan Fox
This enthralling award-winning film by internationally acclaimed director Eytan Fox explores the motives, strengths, and the humanity of an Israeli Mossad agent. Fox has a brilliant gift for putting people in moral quandaries where their responsibilities run counter to their instincts. The film is a heartfelt examination of the true face of violence, and of its repercussions. It shows that even the worst of us can change - or simply develop a conscience. There isn't much that Walk on Water doesn't take on . . . from global terrorism and Israeli-Palestinian relations to homophobia to the Holocaust.

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About the list creator
Stacie ()
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I'mStacie, and i'm an intern at a non-profit organization in Washington, D.C. for the 2010 Summer. I'm from Maryland and i'll be a senior in college in the fall. I want to go to grad school … more
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