Frantic Peace and Loving

This last weekend The Hague hosted a new Film Festival called Shoot-Me. Unfortunately I only had time to visit one movie, but it was really worth it. I went to Michael frantic "I Know I'm Not Alone" and was confronted with the situation in Baghdad and in Israel/Palestine. This time it wasn't about History. It wasn't about politics. It wasn't about oil. It wasn't about money or about "Clash of civilization". Instead, this movie portrayed humans who have feelings. Humans who suffer. Not only the occupied, but also the occupier. It was truly a very moving movie. I love Israel and find it at various times difficult to maintain this, due to the politics in the media.
Michael Franti is an American Musician who decided, being frustrated with the twisted media, to go and take a look with his own eyes what was going on in Iraq and Israel. In this movie you sense Franti's enthusiasm and peacefulness. In Baghdad he is taken to families who live in very poor conditions (no electricity for most of the day), he is driven around by taxi-drivers who cannot drive through town, afraid. In Terror. He takes us to Iraq's Metal Band the Black Scorpion and to independent Radio Station. The situation in Baghdad is confusing, chaotic, unsafe, unsecured and most of all: unreasonable. American forces are the Occupiers, no doubt about that. The liberation is through, the insurgents want freedom, etc.
Franti then goes to Israel and talks to Palestinians, Israeli Soldiers and Former Soldiers. He visits Hippie Tel Avivians and seeks hope in this desperate situation. Talking about History has no point, one can see a IDF-soldier going mad over the exact location of the Green Line. Franti tries another approach. Why not forget history and talk about the feeling. This is productive. The Palestinian explains to the soldier how he feels unfree, occupied. The soldier tells the Palestinian how he cannot feel safe, his mother does not feel safe and how does not want to let the country he believes in down. Then the second, obviously more pragmatic soldier steps in. He and the Palestinian agree. Religion must stay out of politics.

This movie moved me very much, making me realize how fragile I am. How lucky I am not to have served in the Israeli Army. This movie gives hope, exposes fear and has but one very simple conclusion: If you are moved by the movie, you are on the side of the peacemakers. Be sure to watch this enlightened piece of documentary about one of the worlds most avoided problems. Go to the website.


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