Cinema of reconciliation

Of the 20 countries represented at the Religion Today film festival, the largest number of films came from Iran and Israel.

November 16, 2014 12:42
The Iranian movie ‘Rangan 99’

the Iranian movie ‘Rangan 99’ breaks down ethnic stereotypes. (photo credit: COURTESY OF RELIGION TODAY)


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“I’D LIKE you to be the first Israeli to see my film,” says an Iranian filmmaker, handing over a DVD copy of his feature-length motion picture to an Israeli moviemaker, who arrived at a cinema festival in Italy just after the feature’s screening. The film, “The Fourth Child”, tells the story of an Iranian aid worker who rescues an African baby in Somalia.

Wait a minute. Stop. Rewind. A goodwill gesture between an Iranian and an Israeli? An Iranian humanitarian mission in Africa? What is going on here? Actually it’s the 17th Religion Today film festival in Trent, Italy, an annual event that brings together Christian, Muslim and Jewish moviemakers from around the world while showcasing films that deal with inter- faith dialogue, cross-cultural understanding and spirituality.


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