Film screening spotlights Israeli-Palestinian conflict, potential for peace

Film screening spotlights Israeli-Palestinian conflict, potential for peace
Disturbing the Peace
"Disturbing the Peace," an award-winning film documentary about former enemy combatants in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, will be shown from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Feb. 8 in 190 Hannah Hall.

Those interested in learning more about the hostilities between Israelis and Palestinians – and the hopes for peace – are invited to a free screening of the award-winning documentary film Disturbing the Peace. The film chronicles the conflict through the eyes of grassroots peace activists who were once enemy combatants entrenched in the fighting.   

 

 The Oakland University Department of Political Science and Center for Civic Engagement will host a film followed by a discussion, from 6-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 8, in 190 Hannah Hall, on Oakland’s Rochester campus.

 

Released in 2016, the film follows former enemy combatants – Israeli soldiers and Palestinian fighters – who have joined together to form Combatants for Peace, an organization committed to achieving a nonviolent resolution to decades-long conflict. The film’s directors, Andrew Young and Stephen Apkon, have traveled through Israel and the West Bank documenting the activists’ work.

 

“I have seen them working tirelessly, as the only group of enemy combatants I am aware of that are actively working together through non-violence during an on-going military conflict,” Apkon wrote in his director’s statement for the film. “What I have learned is that this is not just a story of two people destined to be forever at war. And it is not even just about this particular conflict. It is about our ability to transform – individually and collectively.”

 

The film has earned several awards, including Best Documentary at the Traverse City Film Festival, Ebertfest Humanitarian Award and Most Important Documentary at the Cinema for Peace. It was also selected as a New York Times Critics’ Pick.

 

After the film, OU Political Science faculty members Alan Epstein and Laura Landolt will engage the audience in respectful discussion of issues surrounding the film and history of the Middle East conflict.

 

According to Dr. Epstein, the film is particularly relevant and worthy of discussion in light of current events.

 

“The celebration and despair prompted by President Trump’s pledge in December of last year to move the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem underscored the continued emotional divide that encases the conflict,” said Epstein. “It also served as reminder of the consequential involvement of the United States in the region. Since the Israeli-Palestinian issue remains a divisive one in this country, it is fitting that the documentary be followed by open discussion to make more intelligible concerns raised by the film."         

 

Learn more about the film at disturbingthepeacefilm.com. For more information about the film screening at OU, contact Alan Epstein at Epstein@oakland.edu.