Dancing in Jaffa

In the city of Jaffa, strife between Jewish and Palestinian Israelis has become commonplace. The children especially are affected, segregated along religious lines that only throw fuel on the fires of animosity. But one man thinks there is a solution in an unlikely place: dance.
 
Dancing in Jaffa follows internationally renowned ballroom dancer Pierre Dulaine as he leads an educational program to bring Jewish and Palestinian children together through the power of dance. Over a ten week period, Dulaine teaches the ten-year-olds the respect and acceptance required by the art of ballroom dancing, struggling every step of the way to overcome cultural barriers and allow the children to find a common ground.
 
The documentary explores the complex stories of three different children who are forced to confront issues of identity, segregation, and racial prejudice as they dance with their supposed ‘enemy.’ The classroom becomes a microcosm of the Middle East's struggle to work together harmoniously in spite of the politics of the region. Under Dulaine’s guidance, the children learn to dance together and trust one another. Dancing in Jaffa offers an up-close-and-personal perspective of how the future might unfold if the art of movement and dance could triumph over the politics of history and geography.
 
Awards: 
Official Selection 2013, Tribeca Film Festival
Winner, 2013 Washington Jewish Film Festival, Audience Award
Quotes: 

"Grass roots Middle East diplomacy takes the unlikely form of rumba lessons in "Dancing in Jaffa," a documentary that doesn't force-feed its message of hope but genuinely earns it." - L.A. Times

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