dinsdag 1 maart 2011

Oscar voor Israelische film over school in Tel Aviv


Een film die iets positiefs in Israel belicht en een Oscar wint. Dat komt niet vaak voor. Ik ben er nog niks over in Nederlandse media tegengekomen, maar dat kan natuurlijk nog komen. En als we dan toch aan het hopen en positief-doen zijn, misschien kan hij ook worden uitgezonden op TV? Een welkome afwisseling met de continue stroom aan documentaires die moeten laten zien wat voor een vreselijk land Israel is en hoe cynisch, wreed en racistisch de leiders, de soldaten en een steeds groter deel van de bevolking zouden zijn.
 
"Strangers No More" is a 40-minute documentary that films the lives of Bialik-Rogozin's educators, in particular Principal Keren Tal and teacher Smadar Moeres, and shows the day-to-day lives of three students; Johannes from Ethiopia, Esther from South Africa, and Mohammed from Darfur. The film was shot over the course of a school year and depicts the turmoil and heartbreak faced by the children en route to Israel, and how the school has become a sort of safe haven for them in Israel .

RP
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Film about s. TA school wins documentary short Oscar




Filmmaker Goodman: 'We really had our hopes up for the school, Israel, and for the kids, hoping that the world would see the message."

Filmmaker Karen Goodman was breathless speaking to The Jerusalem Post on Sunday, hours after "Strangers No More", the film she and her film-making partner Kirk Simon made about the children of foreign workers and refugees at Tel Aviv's Bialik-Rogozin school won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.

"We've been nominated four times before, but we really had our hopes up this time for the school, Israel, and for the kids, hoping that the world would get to see the film's message."

Goodman said she hopes that following the Oscar win, "the spotlight will shine on the school and the world will see it as an example of hope and tolerance."

"Strangers No More" is a 40-minute documentary that films the lives of Bialik-Rogozin's educators, in particular Principal Keren Tal and teacher Smadar Moeres, and shows the day-to-day lives of three students; Johannes from Ethiopia, Esther from South Africa, and Mohammed from Darfur. The film was shot over the course of a school year and depicts the turmoil and heartbreak faced by the children en route to Israel, and how the school has become a sort of safe haven for them in Israel .

Located in south Tel Aviv, Bialik-Rogozin teaches more than 800 students from 48 countries around the world, all of them learning in classes taught in Hebrew, which serves as a sort of unifier for the children from scattered backgrounds. While the issue isn't covered in the movie, the school has become very famous in Israel over the past year, because 120 of its students face possible deportation in the wake of a cabinet decision last July. Bialik-Rogozin's 120 students are among the around 400 students nationwide who are slated to be deported.

While the school is currently gripped with elation at the victory, soon enough, the issue of the impending deportations will again be center stage. The issue seemed a distant concern Monday morning at Bialik-Rogozin where a festive celebration was held hosting teachers, students, and Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai. In one of the corridors, photographers, well-wishers and students crowded around a flat-screen TV showing the film, as a group of elementary school kids giggled at the film's portrayal of Eritrean Johannes' gleefully acquiring a set of eyeglasses bought for him by his teacher.

Following his visit to the school Monday, Huldai issued a statement on Monday praising the film, saying "in a world of cynicism, alienation, and hatred, this movie proves in the most direct and convincing way that there is the chance for a better world."

Huldai added, "whoever finished watching the movie with dry eyes has some sort of problems with their tear ducts."

Huldai also referred to the movie as "the ultimate calling card for Tel Aviv-Jaffa and Israel to present to the world. After reports have been issued ad nauseum about Israel the occupying, brutal country that tramples human rights, it's necessary that the world learns of this side of Israel, the beautiful Israel."

Filmmaker Kirk Simon told the Post Monday that "It feels fantastic to win the Oscar for Documentary Short" and that he feels "it is important to tell the story of the miraculous work that is being done at the Bialik Rogizin School. The image of children from 48 countries coming together for education is a story of hope and peace. It's an uplifting story that the world needs to hear."

When asked what he hopes the movie's victory will mean for the children of Bialik-Rogozin, specifically the around 120 who are facing deportation, Simon expressed his hope that "bringing international attention to the school would help to remove that threat of deportation."

He also spoke about how much he enjoyed walking the red carpet with Bialik-Rogozin principal Karen Tal, who flew from Tel Aviv to Los Angeles to attend the ceremony.

The accolades for Bialik-Rogozin also rang in from Jerusalem, with President Shimon Peres calling Karen Tal by telephone to praise her for the international recognition the school's work had brought to Israel, adding that it had cast a beam of light on Israel's humanity.

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