The Weinberg Center in Frederick, Maryland was built in the early 1900’s and has been restored. It is a great performance hall and I was impressed with the number of volunteers and their friendliness. John Healey, the center’s director, gave a gracious introduction to the film and explained the On Screen/In Person program.
Normally a few people leave after the film before the discussion starts, but not this time. The questions were about the young people in the region and what is being done so that they are not indoctrinated into the conflict. The audience understood that the older generations tended to hold on to the conflict because of their trauma, but the younger generations tended to be more open to knowing the other side, and were inclined to believe that it could be different.
How much of our fear and trauma do we pass on to our children? How much is appropriate? How much enslaves them to the same cycle? In terms of the Jewish trauma of being marked for extinction in World War II, they never want the younger generations to forget what happened so that it can never repeated.
Remembering the holocaust essential, and I devoted a good portion of the film to it. But there are two ways to remember it. One that creates fear and self survival, and one that creates compassion for others whose survival is also threatened. How much of each way do we pass on to our children? This isn’t a question for just Israelis and Palestinians. It is a question for us all. The audience in Frederick, Maryland knew that.
Post by Jim Hanon, OSIP Touring Filmmaker