"One Day After Peace"
* UK Jewish Film Festifval London, UK November 1st - 18th
* PKF2012 (7th edition) Roma, Italy November 3rd-7th
* Other Israel Film Festival Brooklyn, NY, USA November 3rd at 8:00pm
* Special Pre-Festival Screening at Kane Street Synagogue
*Sydney Jewish International Film Festival Sydney, Australia November 4th at 2:15pm
*Vancouver Jewish Film Festival Vancouver, Canada November 11th at 7:00pm
*Other Israel Film Festival New York, NY, USA November 11th at 1:00pm
At The JCC in Manhattan
*Sydney Jewish International Film Festival Sydney, Australia November 13th at 8:45pm
*Other Israel Film Festival New York, NY, USA November 13th at 7:00pm
At Cinema Village
*Melbourne Jewish International Film Festival Melbourne, Australia November 14th at 6:30pm
*Melbourne Jewish International Film Festival Melbourne, Australia November 18th at 4:30pm
*ESRA Cinema Club Raanana, Israel November 27th
*12th International Documentary Film Festival ONE WORLD Bratislava, Slovakia November 29th - December 4th
*Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival Palm Beach, Florida, USA January 2013
*Dorot in Gilboa Gilboa, Israel January 4th, 2013
*San Diego Jewish Film Festival San Diego, California, USA February 7th-17th, 2013
*The first Aliyah Museum Zichron Yaakov, Israel February 12th, 2013
Editor: Miri Laufer; Camera: Erez Laufer; Research: Miri Laufer; Produced by: Erez Laufer Films; Co-Produced by: Steven Markovitz, Big World Cinema, South-Africa; Supported by: Chanel 8, Noga Communication; The New Fund for Cinema and TV, Israel
Robi Damelin lost her younger son David to a Palestinian sniper's bullet while he was manning a military checkpoint in the West Bank. At first Robi tried to contact her son's killer, who is now serving time in an Israeli prison. She wanted to launch a dialogue with him and his parents, but the Palestinian refused. After all, he explained, her son was part of the forces of Occupation army that was denying his people their sovereignty. Undeterred, Robi decided to return to South-Africa to see how the country where she was born had embarked on a quest to achieve forgiveness and reconciliation after decades of apartheid.
The Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC) began operating soon after South Africa finally abandoned apartheid. Fifteen years later, Robi meets with perpetrators from both sides of the conflict, and tries to understand the motivations that brought them to confront their victims and publicly declare their crimes. Was the expected pardon (given by the TRC to everyone who told the truth) their only incentive? Was it the ultimate realization that acknowledging the pain they caused, combined with sincere remorse, could really achieve reconciliation and ensure a better future for everyone?
We follow Adriaan Vlok, a former Minister of Law and Order in the apartheid government, as he embarks on his monthly routine of bringing food to the victims' families. As we witness these painful and agitating encounters with mothers who lost their sons to the regime of which he was a part, we discover the many ways that these women deal with Vlok's remorse and acceptance of responsibility.
Adriaan Vlok, South Africa's former Minister of Law and Order from the Apartheid Era and a bereaved mother in the Mamelodi Township
One of the mothers that Robi meets lost her daughter Lyndi, twenty years ago. Rather than bearing her loss like a festering sore, she has chosen to cooperate with the very person who was responsible for her daughter's death in a series of activities to benefit former freedom fighters. Robi wonders if this can lead to real forgiveness. Can cooperation and dialogue between victims and perpetrators change both sides' approach to the past and encourage new ways of dealing with an open wound? Does it really make a difference, twenty years later?
Robi ponders the possibility of meeting David's killer and can't help wonder how honest she has been with herself in her quest for reconciliation. The release of Gilad Shalit in exchange for prisoners "with blood on their hands" poses a new challenge for her and her older son.
This film is a poignant moving journey through South Africa, Israel and Palestine, three lands that have been scorched and burned for generations. Yet only South Africa is now tending to its embers; Israel and Palestine are still ablaze. As we follow Robi on her journey, we can't help but wonder whether reconciliation will ever really be achieved? Can a person who stole the life of a woman's child ever truly be forgiven? Is the acceptance of responsibility the path to sincere remorse? Is the dialogue between perpetrators and victims the key to ending this bloody conflict?
This thought-provoking journey, through South Africa past and present and through the cooperation of bereaved Israeli and Palestinian parents shows Robi and the viewers that even from a place of pain one can see a glimmer of hope.
Robi Damelin's Note
It is almost impossible for me to describe the painful journey I took over the past year. "One Day after Peace" reopened wounds, and made me revisit places and decisions swept conveniently under the carpet. The journey to South Africa, and the realization that all bereaved mothers, no matter where they come from, share the same pain was an affirmation that what I am doing in my life today after the loss of David is worthwhile and important if we are to prevent others from experiencing loss. The path I chose to take with the man, who killed my beloved David, is fraught with unanswered questions. Am I really honest? Have I really given up being a victim? Should my behavior be contingent on that of the man who killed my son? Will I ever really understand the meaning of forgiving, or am I destined to simply come to terms with understanding why the sniper chose to kill Israelis. It is clear that he did not kill David because he was David, he killed him because he was a symbol of an occupying army. When I heard that the sniper would be freed in exchange for the release of the kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, once again my words and actions were put to the test. This was both painful and heartbreaking, but at the same time cleansing. Out of this came a clear understanding of the complexities of reconciliation and dare I say it.
HD | 86 min | English, Hebrew | English Subtitles | South-Africa, Israel | 2012
One Day After Peace Website