Sunday, November 2, 2014

Other Israel Film Festival Spotlight: Fire Lines

I’m delighted to be returning for the fourth time to cover the Other Israel Film Festival, which features a diverse crop of Israeli and Palestinian cinema and is hosted by the JCC Manhattan. The 8th Annual Other Israel Film Festival will take place November 6th-13th, 2014.

Fire Lines
Directed by David Viola and Avi Goldstein
Screening November 9 at 4pm and November 12 at 6:30pm

This is one film whose subject I recognized right away. This 42-minute documentary recounts the events that occurred during a deadly Carmel fire in 2010 which incinerated an entire bus full of Israeli firefighters on their way in to combat the blaze. What’s present here is a magnificent spirit of cooperation in the midst of a national emergency for Israel, and one that manages to transcend different communities and the boundaries, literal and metaphorical, that keep them apart. It’s particularly stirring to hear Israeli firefighters comment about the impressive advanced fire trucks used by the Palestinian brigade who immediately rose to the occasion and came to their aid. Part of what drives them is a commitment to their chosen line of work and calling, and it’s inspiring to see that a common desire to help people can bring even the most separate communities together in a time of need. While obstacles do emerge and the path to enduring peace isn’t fully clear, it’s a breath of fresh air to see this hopeful and energizing story of two peoples joining forces to help save lives.

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