By Price of Kings co-director, Richard Symons
Former Prime-minister of the Palestinian Authority Ahmed Qurei told us he would lie awake/fall asleep trying to figure out what attached a man to his land to the extent that he would die for it. He was convinced this was would yield the answer to peace between Israel and the Palestinians. But somewhere in the equation was Jerusalem, somehow always defeating the answer. Even in the secret negotiations headed by Qurei that established the unprecedented Oslo peace deal - and certainly ever since. In fact any successful negotiations have had to studiously avoid terms on Jerusalem. Hard to imagine a city that's had more blood spilt over it.
Shimon Peres, Hassidic Jews, The Dome of the Rock, Suha Arafat, Guns and Prayers at Hebron Mosque, Yasser Arafat from The Price of Kings, Films 1&2
This weekend the Peres and Arafat films screen together with a Q&A session afterwards right in the belly of the beast - the Jerusalem Film Festival. As if the two films individually don't provoke enough passionate debate, Jerusalem, the place they fought over invites its people to compare the two sides of the conflict and leadership of Arafat and Peres back to back… almost like the city can't help itself.
Shame we're not showing the President Arias film there also - amazing to think that over the course of just four years, without an army, he could defy America and Russia to bring peace to five countries, an entire region, by simply getting 5 heads of state round a table, locking the door and telling them they weren't leaving till they'd thrashed out a peace deal.
Come to think of it, a shame he's not there to do the Q&A.
If you'd like to come to the bun fight (apparently the editors across the spectrum of Israel's national papers have signed up) there's info below…