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One Day After Peace
Original Title (If different):
Yom Echad Achari Ha-Shalom
Other languages or subtitles:
Running time (In minutes):
About the Director:
Director Erez Laufer is the co-Editor of 2 Oscar nominees: Chris Hegedus and D. A. Pennebaker, The War Room for Best Documentary (1993) and Laura Poitras, My Country My country (2006). His own film Mike Brant, Laisse-moi t'aimer won the 2002 Israeli Academy Award for Best Documentary 2002, and had its international premiere at the Directors Fortnight, Cannes Film Festival 2003.
. Erez was also involved with numerous international documentary film projects: STEPS, South Africa 2001 - an international HIV/AIDS film campaign for the international T.V market; Project 10, South Africa 2003 - a series of films for the 10 year anniversary for the SA independence; and Why Democracy? and Steps India. As a prominent editor and film maker and he is mentoring workshops around the world as X-Orient, The Green House, IDFA summer school and Archidoc at Le Femis Paris.
• Rafting to Bombay (2009)
• The Darien Dilemma (2006)
• Cry of The Owl (2005)
• IDF- The Musical (2004)
• Mike Brant Laisse moi t'aimer (2002)
• Zehava Ben - Song for Peace (1997)
• Don’t Cry For Me Edinburgh (1996)
• Woodstock Diary (1994), co-Director
• Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock (1992), co-Director
Erez Laufer & Miri Laufer
Erez Laufer & Stevan Markovitz
Robi Damelin , bereaved mother
Andreas Vlok, former minister of interior in Apterheid regime
Archbishop Desmund Tutu, Noble Prize for Peace
Can the means used to resolve the conflict in South Africa be applied to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict? As someone who experienced both conflicts firsthand, Robi Damelin wonders about this. Born in South Africa during the apartheid era, she later lost her son, who was serving with the Israeli Army reserve in the Occupied Territories. At first she attempted to initiate a dialogue with the Palestinian who killed her child. When her overtures were rejected, she embarked on a journey back to South Africa to learn more about the country’s Truth and Reconciliation Committee in overcoming years of enmity. Robi’s thought-provoking journey leads from a place of deep personal pain to a belief that a better future is possible.
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Primiere was at Hot-docs Toronto April 2012
Also Doc-Aviv Tel-Aviv May 2012
Encounters Cape Town- Johannesburg June 2012
San Francisco JFF July 2012
DMZ Korea October 2012
Australia JFF Melbourne & Sydney November 2012
Warsaw IFF October 2012
Hampton NY IFF October 2012
London UK JFF November 2012
San Diego JFF February 2013
Palm Beach JFF January 2013
VancoverJFF November 2012
Research first prize Doc-Aviv for Miri Laufer
To the extent that One Day After Peace has a thesis, it’s this: conflict ends not with justice, but with acknowledgement. Not laws, not accords, not carefully negotiated settlement agreements—but another person, in all their specificity and messiness and loves and hates and violence and suffering.
The documentary is a rare gift in the growing body of documentary film dedicated to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: it doesn’t reduce its subjects to caricatures, it doesn’t take them to be emblems of anything, and it isn’t trauma pornography.
One Day centres on Robi Damelin, an Israeli whose son David is killed by a Palestinian sniper, Thaer Hamad. Originally from South Africa, Damelin returns there to meet with participants in that country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Though it’s a fascinating psychological study, Damelin’s quest is far from academic; for her the trip is an inquiry into the possibility and nature of forgiveness as she decides whether to seek out a meeting with her son’s killer, who lost his own family to Israeli soldiers long before taking up a gun himself. The film draws no direct equivalence between the situations in South Africa and Israel/Palestine; what it does do is explore whether the aftermath of Apartheid offers any insight into how individuals, and entire nations, can move on from decades of violence and fear.
To the extent that the people Damelin meets with have found relief, it’s by focusing on the particularity of the other: it’s by learning the biography of your child’s killer that you come to see them as a person and not just a murderer, and thereby can begin to approach forgiveness. As a film, One Day is also concerned primarily with the specific rather than the general. There is no moralizing, no programmatic statement of some supposed “path to peace”—just a layered, carefully rendered exploration of one woman’s attempt to find her way through a horror which doesn’t yield to platitudes or a simple division of sides
One Day After Peace: A mother’s quest for peace and peace of mind, this film is jam-packed with raw emotion and complex geopolitical issues. In the aftermath of her son David’s death at the hands of a Palestinian sniper, Israeli resident Robi Damelin returns to her South African homeland to examine the role of its Truth and Reconciliation Commission in allowing that country to overcome its violent past. The question she asks: would this process be useful in the event of an eventual peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian people? While the film leaves the issues largely unresolved — how could it not? — it’s nonetheless a powerful and moving testament to a woman’s courage and the potential for healing in one of the world’s most intractable conflict zones. B.D.
From Toronto Com
In a packed cinema in Tel Aviv, the screen is filled with the image of Adriaan Vlok, South Africa’s former Minister for Law and Order, washing the feet of a grief stricken mother whose son’s death he ordered (one of the “Mamelodi 10“), during the Apartheid years, while saying “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry for what we did to you people.” The women next to me hands me a tissue, and I turn round to look at the audience behind me, noticing that I’m far from the only one struggling to maintain their composure.
This is day five of the Docaviv film festival and the Israeli premiere of One Day After Peace – a documentary following the journey of Robi Damelin, an Israeli peace activist, who is investigating the South African Truth and Reconciliation process after her son is killed by a Palestinian sniper in the West Bank while he was serving at an Israeli military checkpoint. Her aim is to see whether this process, which has been applied after conflicts in Ireland, Rwanda, and in Canada and the United States (between the state and Native American populations), could one day work in Israel and Palestine. She is also wrestling with her own grief, seeking a meeting with her son’s killer in the hope that by understanding why it happened she might gain some closure.
Photo Credit: Erez Laufer
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) process, we learn, is a radical one. Perpetrators of violence and killings from each side of the conflict are invited to testify before a commission (and often the families of victims) and speak honestly about the events of the time, focusing how it happened and who was involved. They do not need to apologise – although some do – and families do not need to forgive – although some do that too. What they do need to do is speak honestly and acknowledge what happened, on the record, without omission. In return, they receive amnesty from prosecution, while the involved parties hope this process will end the cycle of violence.
The film makes it clear that the process isn’t perfect. Damelin speaks to victims like Shirley Gunn who was initially framed by Vlok for the bombing of Khotso House, who feel the TRC didn’t go far enough, as well as perpetrators who rejected the process and faced prosecution because they felt their actions were justified; “it was war, it was necessary”. Damelin also journeys into Palestine, meeting and bonding with mothers of Palestinians killed in the conflict, while facing the criticism at home for doing so.
The main message of this film however is that for peace to come, this kind of process is absolutely essential. As one of the men who testified before South Africa’s TRC says, “it is painful to touch a scar, but sometimes you need to touch it so that, slowly, it can begin to heal”.
However, we are also left feeling we are a long way from that kind of resolution in the Middle East. Robi’s son’s killer agrees to meet her, but makes it clear that he thinks she is crazy to want to reconcile with him. And Robi herself admits that Truth and Reconciliation can only come as part of a genuine peace framework, which is currently sorely lacking.
Seeing the reactions to this movie in the Tel Aviv Cinemateque however provided some pause for hope. On Bishop Desmond Tutu’s final words – that the TRC is based on the premise that it is possible for people to change, and that one day that change will come to Israel and Palestine – the cinema erupted in applause. As Robi herself took to the stage, this applause turned into a standing ovation.
Peace may be difficult to imagine, but this brave and inspiring film puts the process in a global, historical context that helps us glimpse what might be possible. It happened in South Africa after nearly fifty years of Apartheid and 200 years of white rule. It happened in Rwanda after nearly a million Tutsis were murdered in just 100 days. So, as the audience left Cinemateque 3 and walked back into Tel Aviv’s streets, we were left with one challenging question; if reconciliation can happen there, under those circumstances, then why not here?
Levontin 18 Tel Aviv Israel
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