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In a world torn by conflict -in a place where the idea of peace has been abandoned-an energy of determined optimism emerges. When someone is willing to disturb the status quo and stand for the dream of a free and secure world, who will stand with them? DISTURBING THE PEACE is a story of the human potential unleashed when we stop participating in a story that no longer serves us and, with the power of our convictions, take action to create new possibilities. DISTURBING THE PEACE follows former enemy combatants - Israeli soldiers from elite units and Palestinian fighters, many of whom served years in prison - who have joined together to challenge the status quo and say "enough." The film reveals their transformational journeys from soldiers committed to armed battle to nonviolent peace activists, leading to the creation of Combatants for Peace. While based in the Middle East, DISTURBING THE PEACE evokes universal themes relevant to us all and inspires us to become active participants in...
Preview screening of this film #ebertfest 2016. This film was just finished and according to co-director Stephen Apkon, the film was completed at this time, because Chaz Ebert asked to see it to host it at Ebertfest 2016. Apkon's co-director and the film's cinematographer, Andrew Young, echoed the film's amazing point: many of the people in countries at war often don't have the hate for each other, that is the fodder for the media feeding frenzy, and political leaders who gain power from conflict and death.
Two principals in the film, a Palestinian, Suli, and an Israeli, Alon, are in attendance and along with the filmmakers, received the Roger Ebert Humanitarian Award. Please check out their social media sites, Combatants for Peace on Facebook and elsewhere. The people of this movement have and are changing the world. See more »
On a purely factual level there's not a lot new in this documentary about striving for a just peace on both sides in Israel/Palestine – even for an interested lay person who follows the news with any focus.
But that doesn't keep the film from being both extremely important and deeply moving.
Seeing these men and women who had been filled with hate, ready to kill or die for their 'side', but who now fight for peace and understanding brings back memories of Gandhi, Martin Luther King and others who understood that we are all human, that we all grieve our dead and that our shared humanities are far more important than our differences.
We get to know elite Israeli soldiers who risk the hatred and contempt of their countrymen by refusing to fight in the occupied territories after witnessing the death and destruction they've caused. They refuse to be occupiers.
On the other side we meet Palestinians like the woman who was inches away from becoming a suicide bomber before coming to understand that the people she would kill would leave behind grieving mothers no different than those she sees all around her in Palestine. She refuses to be a terrorist.
And in these many stories of saying 'no' to violence, hate and death, 'yes' to kindness, empathy and working together towards understanding the film provides a tremendously powerful sense of hope – not only for this troubled region, but for the human species as a whole.
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