Disturbing the Peace

Disturbing the Peace. A documentary about how former militants – Israeli and Palestinian – changed their minds, joined up with the enemy, and started to work for peace. It opens with personal stories of transformation. Confessions of wrongdoing. Stories of victimhood. The moment they decided to do something different than fight the other side. In form, it’s a mix of talking heads, reenactments, news reel footage, and live documenting protests and nonviolent demonstrations.

My favorite part was this really great scene between husband and wife. The wife holds a more angry and strident pro-Palestinian stance. She sees the nonviolent, loving approach as a surrender. There’s this awesome parental tension I’d never considered – how do they decide to expose their daughters to that greater world and their perspective, when to introduce them to certain ideas, etc.

There’s also the fact that the rest of the populations (Israeli and Palestinian) sometimes aren’t just ambivalent but sometimes strongly anti-nonviolence, strongly against peaceful protest. Gave me a new appreciation, of how hard it is to do protest work when the rest of your community hates what you’re doing…

I forget whether this was in the movie or in the post-movie conversation, but I also like the idea that forgiveness is not altruistic. It’s one of the best things you can do for yourself.

Filed under: Ebertfest.