The Field (2017)

Directed by: Mordechai Vardi
Duration: 82′
Screening time: Sunday, 6th May, 14:30

It’s not exactly the best time to sing “Kumbaya.” Yet that is what Ali Abu Awwad, a Palestinian resident of Gush Etzion, is determined to do. He invites his Orthodox Jewish neighbors to his field and, in flawless Hebrew, speaks to them of the importance of opening a dialogue of nonviolence, mutual acceptance, and understanding.

As Awwad bares his soul, speaking of visiting his mother in an Israeli jail as a child, of losing his brother during the Second Intifada to an Israeli bullet, the camera pans the settlers’ faces. Most have never had a conversation with a Palestinian, other than the cashier at the local supermarket. Here is an Arab, the enemy, chipping away at a wall that was built to keep him out. Some are moved to tears. Others still resist.

When Awwad addresses students from a military academy in Jerusalem, encouraging them to have compassion for the Palestinians with whom they will interact, their contempt is blatant. Following the film, Vardi, an Orthodox Jewish rabbi, stated that he was not a peace activist when he started the project. But he is now.

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Minyanim
Goethe Ins.
jfst
Hermele-Stiftelsen
Paideia