West Bank Story: Parody for Peace

With Benjamin Netanyahu visiting Barack Obama this week, we’ll hear some chatter about getting the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks back on track. But, let’s be honest, no one is expecting any real breakthroughs here. Peace, love and understanding – the radicals and reactionaries won’t give you that these days. Only movie makers will, which brings us to West Bank Story, a 21 minute film that parodies the 1950s classic musical, West Side Story, a production which is itself adapted from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Directed by US filmmaker Ari Sandel, West Bank Story premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2005, and then won an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film in 2006. In making the film, Sandel had three main goals: to make people laugh, to advocate peace, and to portray the Israelis and Palestinians in a funny but balanced way. You can learn more about the director’s approach here.

Other than watching the film above, you can view it directly on Google Video or download a copy here. Also find it listed in our collection of Free Movies Online.

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