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PROMISES

USA, 2000 (MIFF 2001, Documentaries)

Director: B.Z. Goldberg, Justine Shapiro, Carlos Bolado

Boston born, Jerusalem bred director B. Z. Goldberg, a TV journalist and consultant in conflict management, persuades Israeli twins to spend a day with Arab children, initially stand-offish, suspicious, nervous— they are soon playing soccer, talking and eating together. Goldberg presents an alternative view of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, a refreshing analysis unfettered by political analysis or images of war, injury and death.

Seven children are followed, observed and filmed over three years, each allowed to tell their own slory of growing up in Jerusalem—all equally dramatic, emotional and revealing. Promises is remarkable in the way it shows the deep rooted, almost insoluble nature of the Middle East conflict at the human level. These children live 20 minutes away from each other but are a world apart, knowing nothing of the other's way of life, circumstances or culture. As they grow, so does the chasm that dMdes them, physically, historically and emotionally. An epifogue in which the protagonists are allowed to comment years later, highlights this perfectly.

Winner of the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the 2001 Rotterdam Film Festival.

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