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East Bay Opening Night
Desiring a respite from war stories, Israeli filmmakers Mor Loushy and Daniel Sivan set out to make a film about peace. Following the international success of Censored Voices (SJFF 2015), their documentary about the immediate aftermath of the Six Day War, they turned their lens on the 1992 peace negotiations with the Palestinians held during the Yitzhak Rabin era. With Israeli-Palestinian relations at a low and official communication suspended, an unlikely group of negotiators—two Israeli professors and three PLO members—met secretly in Norway. The meeting was disguised as an academic conference. The political drama with all its intrigue, suspicion and discord is told through the actual diaries of the negotiators and the long-discarded footage of the Oslo negotiations.
This emotional and intimate source material, as well as reenactments, contemporary interviews (including the last one with Shimon Peres before his death) and powerful news footage give shape to what becomes a very human story. Even though mutual distrust reigned, those sitting in fundamental opposition, nonetheless found common ground and, in some cases, came to regard their counterparts as friends. This broad view of diplomacy illustrates the delicate nature of peace and reveals the parallel story of the unwillingness of extremist political forces (on both sides) to let the negotiations succeed. — Janis Plotkin
Producer Hilla Medalia in person in San Francisco and East Bay
Mor Loushy is an award-winning Israeli director. Her debut film, Israel Ltd (2009), premiered at IDFA and was broadcast worldwide. Her latest documentary, Censored Voices (2015), won an Ophir Award for best documentary. Censored Voices premiered at Sundance Film Festival and screened at BFI London and IDFA and released theatrically worldwide.
Daniel Sivan is an award-winning Israeli director/producer known for his critical social-political documentaries. His works include Censored Voices (Sundance, Berlinale, BFI), Offside (Tribeca, IDFA), and The Patriot. He recently edited Death in the Terminal (executive produced by Mark Boal and Megan Ellison)-winner of an Ophir Award and a Hot Docs best mid-length documentary award.