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My So-Called Enemy (2010)

 -  Documentary  -  2010 (USA)
8.6
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 34 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 6 critic

In July 2002, 22 Palestinian and Israeli teenage girls came to the U.S. to participate in a women's leadership program called Building Bridges for Peace. "My So Called Enemy" is a coming of... See full summary »

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In July 2002, 22 Palestinian and Israeli teenage girls came to the U.S. to participate in a women's leadership program called Building Bridges for Peace. "My So Called Enemy" is a coming of age story about 6 of the program participants and how they reconcile their transformative experience in the program with the realities of life back home in the Middle East over the next 7 years. What unfolds is an emotionally-charged film about the human consequences of all conflicts--as seen through the eyes of 6 young women who are thoughtful, intelligent and articulate beyond their years. Written by Lisa Gossels

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In 2002, 6 Palestinian and Israeli teenage girls participated in a U.S.-based program where they came to know their "enemies" as human beings. "My So Called Enemy" is about how this experience complicates their lives in the Middle East over the next 7 years.

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2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Imagining Peace  »

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$720,000 (estimated)
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A creative approach to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict
31 July 2013 | by (Upstate New York) – See all my reviews

My So-Called Enemy (2010) is a bold documentary directed by U.S. filmmaker Lisa Gossels. In 2002, an organization called Building Bridges for Peace brought a group of teenage girls from Israel and Palestine to the United States to participate in a leadership training program.

Most filmmakers would have completed a documentary about the workshop, which could have made an interesting movie. Gossels didn't do this. She took a far more daring approach by selecting six of the young woman in advance. Then she concentrated her footage during the program on these six teenagers. (I believe two are Christian, two Jewish, and two Muslim.)

Gossels didn't stop there. She followed all six women for the next seven years, as they matured into adulthood. Again that was a daring move, one that could have left her with thousands of hours of footage and no film to show for it.

However, Gossels' gamble was successful. She has completed a documentary that proves to us that the bridges of friendship and respect can endure even the impossible strains put on them by the political, psychological, and physical barriers between Israel and Palestine.

This film was shown at Rochester's Little Theatre as part of the superb Rochester Jewish Film Festival. It will work well on DVD. Bringing the filmmaker to Rochester for a pre- and post-film discussion was a gift to the audience, and a real coup for the RJFF and its director, Lori Harter.


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