Dramatizing the Middle East

When Israel entered Gaza earlier this year, Caryl Churchill, whom Tony Kushner calls "one of the most important and influential playwrights living," wrote a nine minute play entitle "Seven Jewish Children: A Play for Gaza." In February, it had a brief run at London's Royal Court Theatre and elicited very different reactions. Some celebrated the play, calling it "dense, beautiful, elusive and intentionally indeterminate" but also appropriately "disturbing" and "provocative;" others labeled it  a blood libel and essentially anti-semitic. Although controversial, the Guardian felt that it was important for people to see the play and form their own views. So they commissioned a performance and had it distributed online. You can watch it above, draw you own conclusions, and, if you want, read more about the project over at the Guardian.

This piece of video was sent to us by rkclibrary over Twitter. Thanks for thinking of us.


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  • Hanoch says:

    This is terrorist propaganda, which is blatantly obvious to anyone who knows their history regarding this part of the world. What a shame that intelligent people use nonsense like this to form opinions of current events rather than doing the heavy lifting of learning and understanding history. It is symbolic of the intellectual laxness of our times.

  • Sara Raftenberg says:

    Would you dare — dare — offer a hooded KKK argument for racism in the name of letting your readers make their own decisions about possible racism? Why are the Jewish people open to that?

  • Dan Colman says:

    When a play is written by an important playwright, and is then lauded by one of the best known American playwrights (who also happens to be Jewish), and when the play is also being staged in Jewish communities centers in the US (see link to Washington Post piece below), the play gains enough credibility to be seen here, and it can’t be dismissed as simply as you’d like.

    That said, I’m not personally a fan of Churchill’s piece. The way it wants to look at Israeli history and contemporary affairs is embarrassingly simplistic. But that’s perhaps what you get when you reduce a big and complex subject into a 10 minute play.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/16/AR2009031603255.html

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