Disturbing the Peace - Unitarian Univeralist Church of Arlington

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Is there any hope for peace between Israelis and Palestinians? This surprising and intense documentary finds a spirit of compassion and empathy among former enemy combatants—Israeli soldiers from the most elite units and Palestinian fighters, many of whom served years in prison—who have come together to challenge the status quo and say “enough”. The filmmakers use some visualizations and re-enactments as those interviewed talk about their experiences in their early years as fighters and in their transformation. An imprisoned Palestinian watches Schindler’s List and begins to question his stance. An Israeli soldier is manning a checkpoint when his wife calls, and he has a revelation about the Palestinian families right in front of him. Both sides have stories of deep suffering and of coming to see the suffering of those they had considered their enemies. The two sides come together to form Combatants for Peace, a nonviolent group that uses dialogue, theater and art to try to end the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. This clear-eyed film doesn’t shy away from the harsh realities of the decades-long divide and, somehow, it still leaves you inspired and impressed by the bravery and humanity that animates the group. For those who have lost hope in the peace process, this film offers a glimmer.