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SOCIAL CHANGE

Since October 7th, we are heartbroken at the terrible trauma and loss of life in Israel and Gaza. Much of the world is reeling with horror and despair and there are alarming effects on multicultural societies across the globe. There is polarisation and extremism, misinformation and disinformation, simplistic reductionism of the conflict which leads to negative stereotyping, hatred and the current explosion of frightening anti-semitism and islamophobia. We need a solution based on understanding and compromise on both sides. The people in THE NARROW BRIDGE show us how - and give us hope.

 

As a Social Impact film, we are developing a program to promote awareness and positive change around breaking down stereotypes, people to people peacebuilding and post traumatic growth. THE NARROW BRIDGE shows how people develop strengths after trauma and offers a model of reconciliation for people in conflict and trauma situations.

The BRIDGE BUILDERS Social Change Program allows the film and associated resources to be used as a powerful social change tool around the world (and specifically in Israel and the Palestinian Territories) by community groups, NGO’s, adult, university and high school education centres.  In fact the BRIDGE BUILDERS Social Change Program is already being used by universities - for example see below.  It will leverage the documentary, and its educational resources, to reduce demonisation and stereotypes, increase empathy for the other and develop pathways to conflict resolution and reconciliation.


The screening of the film at a range of international film festivals, theatres, broadcasters, universities and community centres and our partnerships with significant global organisations including The Alliance for Middle East Peace, Combatants for Peace, Plus61J Media, Kids4Peace all amplify the impact of the film.

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IMPACT GOALS

Promote intercultural understanding and develop our ability to understand the story and pain of those different to us 

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Reduce general negative stereotyping, and specifically about Muslims and Palestinians, Jews and Israelis

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Develop awareness of the possibility of post traumatic growth 

 

Provide trauma related organisations and professionals a resource package (including the film and educational material) that increases knowledge around the effects of trauma and fosters post traumatic growth

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Offer an innovative model of reconciliation and conflict resolution 

 

Develop awareness of the power of people-to-people peace building programs 

Provide an education resource for organisations working with conflict 

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Nurture hope for a just and secure future for
Palestinians and Israelis


Demonstrate how Israeli-Palestinian people-to-people peace building programs create significant positive change

Build support for Israeli-Palestinian Bereaved Families and develop their power to foster understanding and conflict resolution


Provide an advocacy tool for social and political change 

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Shaping Generational Change

The following responses have been received to screenings of the film by universities and community groups around the world.

 

"We were extremely fortunate at Denison University to be able to screen Esther Takac's deeply thought-provoking film, The Narrow Bridge, followed by a discussion with the director. In contrast to one-sided, purely political narratives about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, this film humanizes the conflict, illustrating in a hopeful way the power of grassroots movements to bridge divides and bring people together. Our students found the film riveting, and it aligned perfectly with Denison's desire to help students think in new ways about dialogue across difference and conflict resolution."


Dr. Adam Davis
Director of the Lisska Center for Intellectual Engagement
Denison University

 

"The evening was really a terrific success. The students were tracking with your answers in the Q & A. They were right there with you. From my perspective it really hit my goals for the programming we have at Denison around Israel Palestine. I'm very interested in introducing students to other conflict resolution approaches. I want to help them transcend the idea that the only way to solve conflicts is to figure out who the bad guy is and punish them. Your film helps them develop a deeper moral imagination."


Bethany Slater
Associate Professor
Denison University

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"It was a pleasure to screen THE NARROW BRIDGE documentary at King's. Its profound message resonated deeply at a time when our student body is grappling with growing divisions. The event succeeded in uniting Arab and Jewish students. It was a night filled with emotion and introspection for many of our attendees, and a pivotal learning experience for those, like myself, interested in grassroots peacebuilding efforts."


Dr. Carmen Fulco
Lecturer in Middle East Studies Education
King's College London

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"Everyone must watch the Narrow Bridge. It is simply essential viewing. Really for anyone, but especially for people who care about the future of the people who live in the region between the River and the Sea. We screened The Narrow Bridge at Queen’s University followed by a Zoom Q&A with Esther, the films director. Our students that attended were deeply moved by the films content and Esther’s added insights and ability to take us behind-the-scenes made the experience even more impactful. If you have the opportunity to bring
The Narrow Bridge to your campus, do it.
"
 

Yos Tarshish
Campus Director

Hillel Queen’s University

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"At Nazareth University, we are deeply committed to interfaith dialogue and responding to the needs of the moment.  Like many campuses, we have been challenged to live out these values in response to the conflict in Israel and Gaza.  Our screening and discussion of "The Narrow Bridge" at Nazareth University helped us lean into these commitments in a new way that emphasized deep listening understanding, seeing the humanity in the other, and dialogue across what feels like intractable differences. 

 

Students, faculty, and staff who attended the screening and participated in a Q and A with director Esther Takac were deeply moved by the deeply human stories of the individuals depicted in the film and by their commitment to dialogue in the most challenging of settings.  The film touched us and challenged us, leaving us even more committed to painful but absolutely necessary conversations required in this moment and leaving us hopeful that,as challenging as it is, there is a path forward."


Julianne H. Miller

Interfaith Program Specialist 

Nazareth University

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"As members of Whitehorse Interfaith Group (Yukon Canada) we acknowledge that the situation in Israel and Gaza has impacted many members of our Whitehorse community.  We wanted to show our community that there is positive hope for a solution and to bring to their awareness that not all is dark, that even in the darkest of night there are still rays of light.
 

We believe that there are two main issues in finding these rays of light - we do not hear about these groups, from both sides, that are working together towards reconciliation and resolution of the conflict, and the news coverage emphasis is often on the darkness and not the light. We understand people must be aware of the atrocities that takes place; however, we believe that people are not empowered by such news and they feel more and more depressed and powerless. 


We were looking for a movie that would bring light into people's hearts and give them some hope that change is possible. We were fortunate to find The Narrow Bridge which shares the story of four people who lost close family members to the conflict, and through their loss have found the strength and courage to connect with the other side.
 

The movie deeply touched all those watching and gave them hope knowing people are working together for a better future.  The Narrow Bridge shows what is possible for us when it comes to reconciliation by breaking the walls that separate us. Funds raised from the screening were donated to
Women Wage Peace and Women of the Sun."


Whitehorse Canada

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Last week The Forgiveness Project collaborated with the Lexi Cinema in north London and the Australian film director, Esther Takac to hold a screening of Esther’s award-winning documentary, The Narrow Bridge.  The film tells the story of four members of the Bereaved Families Forum (two Palestinians and two Israelis) who despite the pain and trauma of losing loved ones have worked for peace in the region for many years. 

 

The sold-out screening was followed by a moving Q&A with Muslim interfaith leader and peace activist, Julie Siddiqi, and Magen Inon whose parents were murdered by Hamas on Oct 7th. 

 

There was an urgent call from the audience for the film to be shown widely to diverse audiences due to a growing polarization of opinion and demonization of others.  People said this is so badly needed in our schools and universities right now - to start a discussion around "othering and why these strong positions have become intractable.” 

 

Comments on social media afterwards included:  

 

"Definitely one of the most moving and effective evenings I have ever been too.”

 

"Wow, what a roller coaster of emotion the film takes us on. We need to make a commitment to get it seen by as many people as possible.” 

 

“It was the most powerful and moving evening. I hope more people get to see this extraordinary film.” 

 

"How do the general public get to see this film? Can't think of a more powerful way to get the message across - that hate in the face of unbearable grief can be overcome.”

 

“Thanks so much for this evening. It was incredibly moving and so important"


The Forgiveness Project
London

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Please support our Social Impact program.  All donations through Documentary Australia Foundation are tax deductible. Click here to contribute.

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If you would like to be involved with our Social Impact program we are looking for people with skills in a range of different areas and would love to hear from you!  

Join our journey and help tell this important story.  Please visit our contact page by clicking here.

 

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