Thursday, August 18, 2011

Say Hello to the World for Us

I can still picture our new friend, Micha, sitting at our dining room table, crouched over his Mac for hours at a time, watching, listening, thinking, editing. Last month Micha accompanied my daughter, Lauren, and fellow violinist, Holly Jenkins, as they performed, led workshops, and gave lessons in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Jordan, quietly and unobtrusively capturing the defining images and ideas of their music project. Yesterday he released his short film. A few words from its creator:

This is not just another film about the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. There are enough films out there, which attempt to show the conflict in its perplexing and ponderous entirety. They end up, inevitably, dwelling on the injustices and the violence perpetrated on both sides, on refugee children and IDF (Israeli Defense Force) soldiers. Surely, it is important to document these realities of the conflict, for the world to see and assess. However, when filmmakers take this approach, they all too often forget that they are dealing with people and not just an issue. Righteousness takes the place of compassion. As a result, they dwell on the ugliness and not the beauty of region, proffer a message of desperation and not of hope.

Yet, there is much beauty and hope.

"Say hello to the world for us" takes a compassionate and searching look at the people behind the conflict, through the eyes and music of two young, maybe slightly naive, but intensely passionate violinists. It follows their travels from Amman to Bethlehem and back, as they perform and give workshops to eager children along the way. As the trip unfolds, the film offers rare glimpses into the lives of sundry Palestinians--from the old shopkeeper in Bethlehem, to a group of lively boys from Al-Azzeh Camp. In all of this, "Say hello to the world for us" does not seek to explain the conflict; rather, it shows the people who are caught in the midst of it, struggling silently to live and prosper.

~Micha Hilliard

Say Hello to the World for Us

As I watched the film, a new wave of thankfulness to God for calling us to this region of the world, washed over me. Amidst the hatred and strife there is yet beauty and hope. God has not forgotten and he neither slumbers nor sleeps. Thank you, Micha, Lauren, and Holly, for the reminder.

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