As the annual Jerusalem Film Festival continued this week, a group of Israeli directors called for a ceasefire and a return to dialogue.
“We, the undersigned, Israeli directors whose films participate in the Jerusalem Film Festival, believe that in these violent days, it is impossible to talk only about cinema while ignoring the killing and horrifying events around us,” wrote Efrat Corem, Shira Geffen, Ronit Elkabetz, Keren Yedaya, Tali Shalom Ezer, Nadav Lapid, Shlomi Elkabetz and Bozi Gete.
“We are scared too. Some of us are parents. Our children are terrified of the code red sirens and of the thundering sounds of warfare. We do not seek revenge and do not believe in a military solution; this has proven futile in the past.”
The directors pointed out that children in Gaza do not enjoy the protection of the Iron Dome systems, and have no residential secured spaces, and no warning sirens, unlike the Israelis.
“Children living in Gaza today are our partners in peace tomorrow,” they wrote. “The killing and horror we inflict only push any diplomatic solution further away.”
The directors added their sympathies for the residents of southern Israel, who have found themselves on the battlefront of the conflict. They called for establishing a dialogue and for directing cameras toward the Gaza residents as well, filming the suffering in Israel and the destruction in Gaza.
Finally, the directors called for change, for the Israeli government to cease fire and to engage in a meaningful dialogue with the Palestinians.
All of the directors have movies being screened as part of the ten-day festival in Jerusalem.
Five of them had movies screened at Cannes, including Keren Yedaya’s “Away from his Absence” (“That Lovely Girl”); “The Kindergarten Teacher” by Nadav Lapid and Shira Geffen’s “Self-Made” were screened as part of Critics’ Week and Ronit and Shlomi Elkabetz’s “Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem” was part of the Directors’ Fortnight category.
The opening night of the festival, which was to include the screening of Sayed Kashua’s “Dancing Arabs,” was postponed and then canceled due to the ongoing rocket fire in Israel from Gaza.