Latest update: December 12th, 2012
Is this a man bites dog bit of news, or what? When the press release from the organizers of the NY Peace Film Festival popped in my email, I naturally braced myself for the usual torrent of anti-Semitic graffiti masked as criticism of Zionism we have learned to expect from any event with the words Peace and Festival in the title.
To my very pleasant surprise, someone at the 5th annual festival has decided—imagine!—to dedicate the entire program to films discussing peace efforts around the world. Sure, I was a little perturbed they didn’t have anything good to say about Israel in that department, but I’ll take a silence over what normally would have been there.
So I invite the reader to check out this absolutely Zionism-safe presentation (except it’s in a church and takes place on Shabbat – what, you want everything?). Remember how we always say, why don’t they ever discuss other areas of the world? Well, this time they totally do:
NYPFF features two documentary shorts that address the recent civil wars in Sudan and in Sierra Leone. Saturday, March 10 at 2:30, Another Journey: Tales from Southern Sudan’s Homeless Generation lets four victims of the Sudanese civil war tell their story as they trekked 3,000 miles to find safety from warring parties. In each of the refugee camps they learned to build community with those around them, realizing that the human family is wider than the confines of their village. Two of the victims along with the filmmaker will be on hand to answer questions following the screening.
Then, at 3:30, Fambul Tok (Family Talk) highlights a grassroots initiative to reconcile neighbors. The brutal, decade long civil war in Sierra Leone left communities shattered, and only a few of those responsible for horrendous crimes liable for punishment. Capitalizing on Sierra Leone ’s tradition of gathering together as a village and talking out problems, Fambul Tok allows neighbors to confront one another and talk through their wrongs with remarkable results. One of the filmmakers will be on hand following the screening for a Q&A.
You can visit the festival website for clips from all the participating films, and I guess you can take it off your Nanny Guard list – no Jew bashing talk here…
About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.
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