Dancing in Jaffa

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Pierre Dulaine, an internationally renowned ballroom dancer, fulfills a life-long dream when he takes his program, Dancing Classrooms, back to his city of birth, Jaffa. Over a ten-week period, Pierre teaches 10-year-old Palestinian-Israeli and Jewish-Israeli children to dance and compete together. Dancing in Jaffa explores the complex stories of three different children from three different Jaffa-based schools, all of whom are forced to confront issues of identity, segregation and racial prejudice as they dance with their enemy in preparation for a citywide dance completion. The classroom becomes a microcosm of the Middle East’s struggle to work together harmoniously while still caught in the politics of the region and race. Under the guidance of Pierre, the children learn to dance together and trust one another. Genuinely heartwarming and joyfully celebratory, Dancing in Jaffa offers an up-close-and-personal look at how the future might unfold if the art of movement and dance could triumph over the politics of history and geography. (Dir. by Hilla Medalia, 2013, USA, in English, Arabic & Hebrew with subtitles, 88 mins., Not Rated, Sundance Selects) Digital