Sundance Selects is bringing the film Dancing in Jaffa to Chicago. The documentary, from Hilla Medalia, was an official selection at Tribeca Film Festival and winner at both the Washington Jewish Film Festival and the Denver Jewish Film Festival.
Pierre Dulaine, an internationally renowned ballroom dancer, fulfills a life-long dream when he takes his program, Dancing Classrooms, back to his city of birth, Jaffa. Over a 10-week period, Pierre teaches 10-year-old Palestinian-Israeli and Jewish- Israeli children to dance and compete together.
Dancing in Jaffa explores the complex stories of three different children who are forced to confront issues of identity, segregation and racial prejudice as they dance with their enemy. The classroom becomes a microcosm of the Middle East's struggle to work together harmoniously while still caught in the politics of the region and race. With the guidance of Pierre, the children learn to dance together and trust one another. Dancing in Jaffa offers an up-close-and-personal perspective of how the future might unfold if the art of movement and dance could triumph over the politics of history and geography.
The film will open May 2 at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave., and be available on iTunes and video on demand April 4. Watch the trailer.