[JIFF ’12] One Day After Peace (2012) by Bea Harper

Imagine sitting across from the parent of whose child has murdered yours. What could you say? Would you let loose your emotions or would you stare back at them at equal loss for words? This is but one provocative question that applies to the old saying- there are two sides to every story, but in the case of terrorism and war, there are multiple sides to every point of view.

Bereaved mother turned peace activist Robi Damelin is but one of many people who have lost a loved one in the Palestine-Israel conflict who wishes to put an end to this on-going battle of bloodshed, shady politics and questionable justification by applying the same methodology used by the TRC (Truth and Reconciliation Commission) that was formulated to resolve the South African days of apartheid- the means of using justice and accountability rather than using eye-for-an-eye for conflict resolution. Nothing about life is easy and not everything can ever be seen in black and white just like not everything can be seen with just one pair of eyes or spoken in one voice.

As opposed to using empirical data and statistics, Miri and Erez Laufers’ affecting documentary uses a far poignant means of information- humans. Damelin is but one voice of many in this journey, and most certainly will never be the last. It is so easy and instinctive to condemn the taking of human life (I admit that with my passionate personality I have done this more times than I care to count), but this well-constructed window offers unbiased and truthful insight that does not point the finger at one party or pat the back of another. It shows humans as we are- complicated. For every bit of good humanity does (helping strangers), it is met with (by common definition) the bad (in the films’ case, terrorism and its’ justification according to those take part in it. Everybody suffers, it is just a matter of perspective about who suffers more.

“One Day After Peace” does not aim to warm your heart, entertain or make you feel better about yourself- it only wishes to be honest and maintains a view to educate not only the current generation, but those before and those to come. This is one lesson you are not like to forget or one to discard.


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