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Deadly Currents


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A thoughtful and powerful Canadian documentary about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The filmmaker, Simcha Jacobovici, is the son of Holocaust survivors, but he has tried hard to make a nonpartisan overview of the conflict that shows some of the wisdom as well as some of the unreasoning hatred on both sides--and to an extent he has succeeded. Among the many people interviewed, my favorite is a pacifist anarchist street performer in Tel Aviv with an Arab father and a Jewish mother who has fought on both sides. (Jacobovici's view is wide enough to include other performing artists as well, among them an Israeli dance company and a Palestinian music ensemble.) One might question at times the use of techniques associated with fiction films (e.g., point-of-view shots and flashbacks) and the occasional tendency of the filmmakers to provoke the people they are filming, though the film is sufficiently up-front to suggest that camera crews sometimes help create the violence they record. But the overall portrait that emerges, of a society propelled by suffocating hatred and intolerance on both sides, is disquieting, intelligent, and hard to forget. (Music Box, Friday through Thursday, December 11 through 17)

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