Notes from Susan: The Importance of Hope
We just got back from the Hamptons International Film Festival, where The Eagle Huntress won best documentary. We’re proud to have helped produce it and hope you’ll see it in theaters after its release on 10/28. This story about young Aisholpan is inspiring and hopeful, one of the reasons it’s so well-received by audiences.
Today, though, I’d like to focus on another hopeful film we saw at the festival that profoundly moved Albie and me. It’s called Disturbing the Peace and is the story of Combatants for Peace, a group of former Israeli military who’ve joined with Palestinian citizens from all walks of life to create a dialogue of peace. You can watch its trailer here.
These men and women found each other more than 10 years ago in a meeting they all describe as terrifying. They began their first discussion by each sharing stories of acts they’d committed against one another that they now regretted. Today their movement includes eight paired cities – 4 Israeli and 4 Palestinian – and grows against all odds. The Combatants are vilified by the majority of both states and have suffered very real reversals, yet turn to one another in their darkest moments for love and support.
When I see a film like Disturbing the Peace I’m reminded again how very important hope is in a film, be it documentary or narrative. We also saw Lion, a fiction film based on the true story of a 5-year old Indian child separated from his mother and siblings who, though adopted by an Australian family, manages to be reunited with his family after 25 years.
Hope. It’s essential.
I’m proud that Shine makes films that embody it and honored to be part of the filmmaking community that tells stories that are real, difficult, but ultimately celebrate the human spirit.