West Bank Story

Anyone familiar with Wintersong is probably very much aware that a few weeks ago I added video clip additions to my techno-ability. I promised myself not to overdo this wonderful feature; my thought was to reserve it for weekends which I hope to use to do my own blog reading, and see what’s new with my blogger friends.

Tuesday I attended my first Fall Osher class and fell in love with a documentary movie that almost defies description. You may have watched, as I did, the Academy Awards on March 6 last year. And because they were so darn cute, you probably remember Will Smith’s seven-year-old son, Jaden (his co-star in Pursuit of Happyness) and Ten-year-old Abigail Breslin, stumbling a bit as they announced the winner for best live action short film, “West Bank Story,” directed by Ari Sandel. At the time I was so taken with Abigail and Jaden I didn’t give much thought to Sandel.

Just 22 minutes long, think Romeo and Juliet or Tony and Maria (West Side Story) and you have a blueprint for “West Bank Story.” I could hardly wait until the weekend to share as much as I could about this musical comedy with my blogger friends. It’s about David, an Israeli soldier, and Fatima, a Palestinian fast food cashier, the most unprobable of couples, falling in love amidst the animosity of their families’ dueling falafel stands in the West Bank.

Tensions mount when the Kosher King’s new pastry machine juts onto Hummus Hut property. The Palestinians then ruin the machine (the explanation of how is much too complicated to note here, regretably), and the Israelis respond by building a wall between the two eating establishments. Amid the resulting chaos, the couple profess their love for each other and trigger a chain of events that destroys both restaurants, forcing all to find common ground in an effort to rebuild, thus planting a seed of hope for a new and better future. 

I enjoyed it so much and wish I could show the whole thing here, but since that would entail copyright issues, you can review it just a little here through short trailers. Like Ari, I want to believe there’s a solution for the Israli-Palestinian conflict. May it begin with all of us trying to see things not as they now are, but how they could be. No one is 100% right 100% wrong. And keeping our sense of humor is always a plus! (By the way, this video can be purchased online for about $20.)

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