Promises: before “taking sides” on Israel and Palestine conflict, watch this movie

(Originally posted on January 6th 2009 at

The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt. Even those of the intelligent who believe that they have a nostrum are too individualistic to combine with other intelligent men from whom they differ on minor points. This was not always the case.”

“The Triumph of Stupidity”, by Bertrand Russell

First of all, there is no winner side on this stupidity called war, there are innocent people dying.

I have no words for what is happening these days in Palestine, but I would like to recommend one of the most beautiful movies I have ever watched, Promises, recommended to me, recently, by my friend Leonardo Motta. Here is the trailer for this wonderful movie and it is really worth watching it before “taking sides” on this conflict.

Several Jewish and Palestinian children are followed for three years and put in touch with each other, in this alternative look at the Jewish-Palestinian conflict. The three filmmakers followed a group of seven local children between 1995 and 1998. They all have a totally different background. These seven children tell their own story about growing up in Jerusalem. Through this portrait of their generation, we see how deep rooted and almost insoluble the problems of the Middle East have become. When the protagonists speak out in an epilogue a couple of years later, it becomes apparent that all have lost their childlike innocence. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Watching this movie, maybe we can think better that what is being reported on news are not just statistics, there are innocent people dying and suffering. How much hatred could be avoided if people on those regions could understand how alike they are and accept their small differences?

At the end of Promises, when the Israeli and Palestinian children are separated, they cry. They cry because they know that it will be almost impossible for them to see each other again.They cry because now they have became friends.Yes, Israelis and Palestinians can be friends, as strange as this can sound for a narrow mind.

I remember when Sanabel Hassan, the little girl you can see on the trailer, says

No Palestinian child ever tried to explain our situation to the Jews. […]

Arab and Jews  should meet. […] Not politicians! I want CHILDREN to meet.

How easy can it be for an adult to change the mind of a little child like Sanabel?

I hope some day we can transmit the message of this movie for most of the people from Israel, Palestine and every people solicitous about this problem. We should start with all the children. This great movie is a step. I would like to know how to help, but the most I can do for now is to manifest my concern for every innocent being killed and suffering. Until we can find out a way to improve human communication, there will never be peace.

Aditional information (updated)

Related movies on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be found here. I have also seen from this list Paradise Now, and, more recently, Lemon Tree, wich is not on this list. Both are also good movies. I like best the second one. If you have watched some film from this Wikipedia list, I would like to know which do you recommend and why.