Categories: Parish News

Voices from the Holy Land Film Festival at St. John’s

St. John’s Holy Land Committee in conjunction with Voices From the Holy Land (VFHL) is bringing a documentary film series to our church over the next two months.

Beginning on March 4, St John’s will host a screening and moderated discussion of four films on Sunday afternoons at 2:30 pm.

The VHFL film series, whose hosts also include Ravensworth Baptist, Universalist Unitarian of Arlington, Westminster Presbyterian, and the DC Chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace, is free and open to the public at each venue.

The March 4 film at St. John’s is Disturbing The Peace. This documentary finds a spirit of compassion and empathy among former enemy combatants-Israeli soldiers from the most elite units and Palestinian fighters, many of whom served years in prison-who have come together to challenge the status quo and say “enough.” Our moderators for this event will be Saleem Zaru, the Executive Director of United Palestinian Appeal, who addressed an adult forum on October 1, and Alison Glick, the local chapter head of Jewish Voice for Peace.

On March 11, we’ll screen two short documentaries: Bethlehem: Hidden From View and Gaza: A Gaping Wound. The first short tells the story of Israel’s encircling wall around the “Little Town” of Bethlehem, and its impact on the local Christian and Muslim community. The second short tells the story of ten families who lost loved ones during the 2014 Israeli military offensive against Gaza, through a series of interviews. Our co-moderators are Liana Smith, a local Jewish Voice for Peace activist, and Zeina Azzam, the editor at the Arab Center.

On April 8, our documentary is the hard-hitting Roadmap to Apartheid, narrated by Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple. This documentary, produced by a white South African and a Jewish Israeli, takes a detailed look at the apartheid analogy often, and at times controversially, used to describe the Israeli-Palestinian political relationship. The analogy is a useful framework for understanding the conditions in which many Palestinians feel they live today. Our co-moderators are a local couple, Shelley Fudge of JVP and Jamal Najjab, a Palestinian-American activist.

Please invite your friends for what promises to be an educational and thought-provoking series of documentary films and discussions.