World premier screening of the film "Two sided Story"
Around 500 Israelis and Palestinians gathered together over the weekend in Jaffa in order to watch the premier of the film "Two sided Story". An Israeli and Palestinian co production of the Parents Circle Families Forum- the bereaved families forum, 2shot and media agency ‘Ma'an'.
The film directed by Emmy Award Winner Tor Ben Mayor follows the group of 27 Israelis and Palestinians who meet under the flagship project of the PCFF ‘perspective' with the aim of acknowledging each other's narrative. Together they create the conflict mosaic. Among them include Bereaved families, Orthodox Jews and religious Muslims, settlers, ex soldiers in the Israeli army, ex security prisoners, citizens of the Gaza strip, kibbutz members, second generation holocaust survivors, non violent activists and more. Each and every one holds his own historical truth, and carries with him his own emotional baggage .
The screening took place in the presence of the film project's participants and families, members of the PCFF and the general public. Around 150 Palestinians arrived from various places of residence in the West Bank. Most are graduates of the ‘narrative' project which still exists to this day, consisting of 12 workshops attended by 350 Israelis and Palestinians.
Ayelet Harel, member of the forum and the main producer of the film said after the screening "the film succeeds in providing the best proof that the road to peace and reconciliation begins with becoming acquainted with the narrative of the other." Harel also addressed the roars of joy from the crowd every time the actors in the film mentioned words of peace and reconciliation. "It is not an easy task to direct a film that gives an even platform for the voices of both sides and provides as accurate a picture as possible to our complex reality- I am proud to announce that we have succeeded in our mission and the public support from both nations during the screening was important and exciting".
Mazan Farj, member of the PCFF and the Palestinian project manager said "we completed intensive work over two years in a state of reality which made it difficult to have such meetings, we managed to bring to the workshops people who represent the two nations, politicians, grandmothers, students, educators, activists, artists and more. It is important to state that the participants arrived with national pride, and it was important for them that the other side heard about their narrative. Many participants stayed in touch after the workshops and some of the groups such as the group of mental health workers and the education group continue to meet even today, months after the workshop ended. I thank the group facilitators and all the members of the PCFF for their contributions in leading the programme and its success."
Robi Damelin, member of the PCFF and bereaved mother summed up the feeling after the screening, "Today we experienced magic. Today's event gave us the feeling of what co-existence could look like and it's magical and possible!"
"As a filmmaker and citizen of this country I had to listen to and record the pain of the other side" said Tor Ben Mayor "But there was something in these meetings that made a difference for me and this was the opportunity for both sides to talk about their pain in their own way and the fact that someone from the other side is listening. What I have learnt during the shooting is that to listen is not just to hear words, but to open your heart as well. Not that there were no challenges, the difficulties and gaps were immediately laid on the table sharply. However there were moments where it was not two sides talking to each other, or two nations speaking but moments in which the talking and listening was between individuals. Despite the fact that I was watching everything from outside, I felt deeply moved and tears choked my throat when I realised that everything can be different here, that it must be different here."
After the screening finished, the Palestinians went to the beach. For some it was their first encounter with the sea.
The film "Two sides of the story" is scheduled for release later this year and is expected to be included in film festivals in Israel and abroad.
Watch the trailer.
About the director:
Tor Ben Mayor- Director and editor - International Emmy award winner (2001) for the documentary film "Kapo"(1999). Partly directed "Song of Sin" television series "Couple Therapy" (2007-2008). Television series "Shattered Dreams To Peace" (2007), "Bereaved Mothers" (2000) and more.
The film "Two Sides Story" is the third in the trilogy that Ben Mayor has directed about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The first film had a chapter about the War of Independence as part of the TV series documentary "Frontline". The second film "Shattered Dreams of Peace" that he co-directed with Danny Siton describes the attempt to reach peace from Oslo to its breakdown in "Operation Defensive Shield". The current film is the third in the "conflict trilogy", says Ben Mayor and opens up conversation about reaching reconciliation".
About The Parents Circle - Families Forum (PCFF)
The Parents Circle - Families Forum (PCFF) is a joint Palestinian Israeli organization consisting of hundreds of Israelis and Palestinians whom have lost loved ones as a result of the conflict and decided to work together to prevent future bereavement. The PCFF believes in and acts to stop hostility and violence, and to create a reconciliation process which will be an integral part of future peace agreements.
Director and editor: Tor Ben Mayor,
Script: , Dov Kroitoru
Photography Muhammad Fawzi & Meni Elias
Music- Koby Weitzman
Research and Production: Michal Yon & Amjad Abu Arafah
Producer: Yoav Leshem
Executive Producer: Ayelet Harel