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An Oscar Nominated Film, “Promises”, Looks at Israel and Palestine Through the Eyes Ofchildren

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Israelis and Palestinians resumed truce talks today, despite two recent Palestinian suicide attacks, including onethat killed three Israelis yesterday. The attacks initially prompted Israel to walk out on the talks, and sparked asharp rebuke from President Bush.

Meanwhile, even before the bombings that rocked the truce talks, Israeli forces entered a number of West Bankvillages meant to be under full Palestinian control. Early yesterday morning, armored tanks moved into the townswhile a throng of troops arrested at least 25 Palestinians. Later, Israeli bulldozers destroyed all roads leading tothe West Bank city of Nablus, effectively sealing it off from the rest of the Palestinian territories.

Well, as the newspapers continue to list the daily death-count and to track the diplomatic back-and-forth, it issometimes easy to forget that lives–real lives–are being lived on both sides of the conflict. Among these livesare millions of children. They are kids who are not only innocent victims but also future protagonists in thedecades old drama. Their voices, however, are rarely heard.

Well, today we are going to hear some of their voices. A new Oscar-nominated documentary by the name of PROMISESbrings the stories of 7 Israeli and Palestinian children to the big screen for perhaps the first time. Though theylive only 20 minutes apart, the seven children exist in completely separate worlds.


  • Excerpt From “Promises”


  • B.Z. Goldberg, co-director and co-producer of the film, “Promises.” He was born in Boston but grew up inIsrael, just outside of Jerusalem. He covered the first Intifada as a television journalist with Reuters TV, theBBC, NBC, CNN and NHK. In 1995, he left his television job to begin making “Promises,” his first feature-lengthfilm. The movie was shot primarily in 1997, 1998, and 2000. It is a collaboration between Goldberg, JustineShapiro, and co-director and editor Carlos Bolado. It is nominated for an Oscar in this year’s Best Documentarycategory.

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