THE FIELD (aka BACK TO SEBASTIA)
Director: Mordechai Vardi
Category: Current Affairs & Politics
Production: Mordechai Vardi: Veradim Productions; for Channel 8 (Hot Cable Communication), Commissioning Editor: Rinat Klein; The Gesher Multicultural Film Fund / Israel 2017
Associate Producer: Michael Treves: JMT Films Distribution & Co-productions
Language: Hebrew, English, Arabic. Subtitles: English
Length: 82 minutes
Logline: In the West Bank, between Jerusalem and Hebron, there is an awakening of people from both sides desiring to find hope, and working for reconciliation.
Synopsis: Etzion Block intersection (Gush Etzion), between Jerusalem and Hebron: Ali Abu Awad dedicates his family’s field as a Palestinian Center for Non-violence. Despite his life experience, four years in an Israeli prison, his mother’s five year sentence, a brother killed by an Israeli soldier - Ali creates ''Roots'' with local Israeli settlers advancing responsibility and grassroots work to enable political reconciliation. The film director accompanies the initiative for 2.5 years and documents the changes transpiring on both sides. In 2015, Etzion Junction suffers a wave of violence and the activists face a reality where their own relatives are being attacked.
Long Synopsis:In the West Bank, between Jerusalem and Hebron, there is an awakening of people from both sides desiring to find hope, and working for reconciliation. In the difficult situation of national conflict with the threat of terrorist attacks and the reality of occupation.
"The Field" is a feature length documentary film that follows the "Roots" project. A first of its kind initiative between Palestinians and Israeli settlers together working towards coexistence and peace not through politics but rather through a peoples movement developing from the grass roots.
Every day, thousands of Palestinians and Israeli settlers pass through the "Etzion Junction," Near the junction you'll find the field of Ali Abu Awwad (40). Ali is a main character in the film - a charismatic leader, and his autobiography tells a story that normally produces a bitter hardened enemy. A childhood with a mother in Israeli prison, his own coming of age in the prisons because of his anti-Israel activities, his being wounded by shots fired from a passing Israeli car and his brother killed by an Israeli soldier. Ali invites Israeli settlers and Palestinians to meet in his piece of land and to hear the narrative of the other and to open to change. In Ali's field, people get liberated from the mutual fear. It's like another planet, a bubble of calm within a harsh reality. Ali's initiative is called "Roots" and it began in the winter of 2014 when he met a settler named Shaul Judelman, and they built together a partnership of peace activists. A joint project of Palestinians and Israeli settlers to find a way to live together in the hope of a better future.
Watch Video Trailer
Watch video sequence
(Palestinian peace activist Ali Abu Awwad speaking with settlers in Efrat, West Bank)
Festivals & Awards:
Doc Aviv International Documentary Film Festival - Israel 2017
Hartley Film Foundation Development Prize (U.S.A.): Copro Documentary Co-production Pitching Forum (Tel Aviv, Israel, June 2016)