Cinema per la pace: Three Israeli/Palestinian films
“I Am You Are” is the title of the project of the Jerusalem Film Foundation, created to launch messages of peace in a war zone. The 30 Muslim, Hebrew and Christian youths chosen for the project, through interviews conducted in high schools throughout Jerusalem, had to live together for 30 days to make several films. Some of these works were presented on the 17th as part “Cinema per la pace”, which took place in the Sala Sinopoli.
The three short films were made by the young filmmakers in the summer of 2000, a year after the project was founded. “Our work was not affected by the new Intifada, which exploded later,” said project director Gili Mendel. “We will continue working without worrying about politics. The essence of art is to not allow itself to be influenced by politics”.
The two directors present, Israeli Gilaad Levi and Palestinian Magdi Abu Gosh, concur. “Politics did not have an effect on our films,” explained Levi. “The importance of the project lies in the fact that our group embraces Arabs, Israelis and Christians”.
“Some of us have experienced traumas,” said Abu Gosh, “but when we work we leave all our problems aside. We are a strong and united group”.
The project thus proves that the two populations can coexist in the Holy City of Jerusalem. “Our part of the world is an ugly one, but we have to do everything possible to improve it, for ourselves and for the young people growing up”.