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|Originaltitel:||Dancing in Jaffa|
|Laufzeit:||Ca. 89 Min.|
|FSK:||From 0 years|
With his "Dancing Classrooms" the internationally known dancer Pierre Dulaine has created a project through which so far over 400,000 children have not only learned to dance, but also social awareness, self-confidence and the reduction of prejudices. A success you could actually rest on. But Dulaine still has a big dream. He wants to return to his native city of Jaffa to teach Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Jewish children to dance together. In doing so, he wants to help them to reduce the hatred and mistrust that is placed in their cradle in this city. An undertaking that is already considered impossible by many in advance. But in fact some schools are willing to participate in the project. But can a single man only reduce really deeply rooted hatred and prejudice with the help of ballroom dancing in just ten weeks? Can such a project bring about real change?
In the documentary "Dancing in Jaffa" director Hilla Medalia accompanies the charismatic dancer on this very personal and challenging journey. Dulaine, whose life has already been filmed in the feature film "Dance!" with Antonio Banderas, approaches with an infectious enthusiasm a project that is actually doomed to failure right from the start. Already in a conversation with a taxi driver at the beginning of his journey, Dulaine realizes how deeply the hatred sits in the population groups of Jaffa. But that doesn't discourage him. For him it is clear that changes are also possible and above all necessary in such an environment.
On his first encounters with the children he first makes experiences which he would probably make everywhere in the world if boys and girls were to dance together for the first time. There is laughter, one hears every now and then a "Ihhh" or a "I don't want to dance with him". Everything's normal. But when he makes it clear to them that he wants Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Jewish children to dance together, he is first confronted with reactions that are frightening and discouraging. How he transforms this initial headwind into something really unique in only ten weeks, how he manages to build bridges between children and adults with his very special way, is simply wonderful to watch.
That Hilla Medalia has managed to deal with the really serious social problems in Jaffa in an entertaining way and without being too pushyly concerned, makes this documentary so recommendable, even though some scenes in the middle part are a little bit drawn. However, whenever you have the feeling that a more tight staging would have done the movie some good, Pierre Dulaine immediately makes you forget this little flaw with his engaging and extremely likeable nature. It is thanks to him that in a film that deals with the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, one can laugh heartily and leave the cinema with a smile on one's face and hope in one's heart. And exactly for that there is then also a more than deserved one: Absolutely worth seeing!
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