Interview with the filmmakers
DOCS IN PROGRESS: 'THE PROMISED BAND' -- FRESH, NUANCED LOOK AT ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN DIVIDE
Documentary by Jen Heck tests whether cross-cultural friendship is possible in a land of intractable conflict
To many people "Middle East Peace" is an oxymoron -- so farfetched is the idea of Israelis and Palestinians finding common ground.
But Jen Heck hasn't abandoned all hope.
The American filmmaker spent months in Israel and the West Bank exploring whether a group of Palestinians and Israelis could literally see eye-to-eye. Could they spend time together, face-to-face, no barbed wire between them. What would it take to just hang out?
I see this guy crossing the street with a machine gun and I’m like, 'Oh, this doesn’t look really good.'
The answer, as it turned out, was to form a band, a process Heck documents in her new film, The Promised Band, which is about to launch on the festival circuit. Heck and producer Maria De La O gave
an exclusive first look at the documentary before festival programmers screened it. We found it moving and surprisingly tender, a film that makes the dynamics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict so much more human and comprehensible than news reports or other documentaries that focus just on the region's incessant violence.
--Jen Heck on shooting her documentary in the West Bank and Israel