Dancing in Jaffa opens in Berlin cinemas on January 9.
When award-winning ballroom dancer Pierre Dulaine returned to his native city of Jaffa with a plan to bring Palestinian Israeli and Israeli Jewish children from five different, mainly segregated, schools together on the dance floor, he faced all but insurmountable obstacles: prejudice, cultural mindset, pre-adolescent bickering, politicised parents. Reflecting on the arduous process of breaking down these barriers, Medalia’s film starts very slowly before getting rhythm. When it does, though, it really swings.
Dancing in Jaffa | Directed by Hilla Medalia (USA 2013), documentary with Pierre Dulaine, Yvonne Marceau. Starts January 9
Originally published in issue #123, January 2014.