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Post-production   /  Esther Takac

The Narrow Bridge

The Narrow Bridge - from conflict to understanding, from trauma to hope.

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Impact areas

HEALTH & WELLBEING

HUMAN RIGHTS & SOCIAL JUSTICE

Crew

  • DIRECTOR Esther Takac

  • PRODUCER Esther Takac

Synopsis

DURATION: 90 MINUTES

THE NARROW BRIDGE explores the emotional journeys of four people who, after profound pain, develop strengths they never had before. After losing a child or parent in one of the world’s most unrelenting conflicts, these remarkable women and men are choosing to harness their grief to build peace.

Whilst many of their countrymen respond to such loss with anger and hate, which further drive the cycle of violence, Bushra, Rami, Meytal and Bassam have become activists, transforming their pain into a bridge for understanding.

Their stories are not just personal; they’re also deeply political. They all belong to an extraordinary grassroots organisation of heartbroken people, ‘Israeli Palestinian Bereaved Families,’ who are determined to change the culture of conflict.

As we follow Bushra, Rami, Meytal and Bassam through aching pain, internal struggles and courageous shifts in thinking, the film explores who they used to be, who they are now and how the experience of trauma changed them. Today Rami mobilizes demonstrations against violence, Bushra and Meytal talk reconciliation with Israeli and Palestinian women, and Bassam speaks to high school students in Tel Aviv and Nablus.

Despite fierce opposition from family, community and their own governments, they never give up. But few people have heard of them — this film will change that.

In an increasingly polarized and anxious world, as we manage with the collective trauma of a pandemic — this story about developing strength after pain, about breaking down stereotypes and building peace — speaks to us all. Charting an inspiring journey of the human spirit, THE NARROW BRIDGE signals a way forward to personal and social change.

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72.67% funded
  • $120,000.00

    FUNDING GOAL
  • $87,203.00

    FUNDS RAISED
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Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

As we continue to struggle with the pandemic, psychological trauma is rising globally. We know that living with conflict increases trauma, and trauma increases conflict. Trauma affects people physiologically, emotionally and socially in ways that can intensify reactivity and violence. Seeing yourself as a victim, anger and isolation interfere with recovery, while telling your story, creating meaning out of your pain and finding community promote resilience. In Israel and Palestine where our story is set, up to 30% of people suffer from PTSD. The participants in our film have built such a community ‘Israeli Palestinian Bereaved Families’ which nurtures conflict resolution and enables trauma and pain to witnessed and be transformed into meaning. As past efforts at peace negotiations have failed, our participants know there’s a desperate need to change the culture of conflict, reduce stereotyping and build empathy. They’re working hard towards growth after trauma and conflict resolution.

Impact

What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

This film shows how people develop strengths after trauma and offers a model of pathways to reconciliation for people in conflict. Through the participants’ journeys the possibility of posttraumatic growth is explored. We see how even after the death of a child or parent, it’s possible to understand the pain of the other side, reduce fear and mistrust and develop empathy. These personal stories of healing signal the steps their peoples and others across the globe could take on the road to peace.

Outcomes

What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

The film hopes for outcomes on personal, national and international levels. Personally the film shows how even after terrible trauma it’s possible to develop new strengths and achieve positive change. Professionals and organisations working with traumatised people will be able to use the film as a therapeutic tool.
Nationally and internationally the film offers a model of pathways to reconciliation for people in conflict and trauma situations. It shows how dialogue workshops, women’s groups and conversations with high school students break down stereotypes and reduce fear and mistrust. An annual Memorial Ceremony for Victims of the Conflict decreases each side’s experience of exclusive victimhood. The film affords organisations working with conflict a resource for policy change and education. Finally the film nurtures hope and reconciliation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Thus the film aims to change minds and behaviours, and ultimately drive changes in policy.

Activities

How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?

We'll build a dynamic social impact/education outreach strategy and work closely with our partners, key organisations and educationalists to create educational resources and opportunities for audiences to engage with the film. An educational kit on posttraumatic growth will be developed to enhance the use of the film as a therapeutic tool with people affected by trauma. The film, together with attached resources on conflict resolution, provides an advocacy tool for organisations working with conflict and trauma to facilitate policy change and reconciliation. Tertiary institutions, (psychology, politics and conflict resolution courses) interfaith and community centres will be able to use the film as an educational resource. Within Israel – Palestine key organisations will use the film to influence policy around conflict resolution. The film’s participants will be invited to speak at events and social media will direct audiences to discussion forums, creating a shift in public attitudes.

Stakeholders

How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?

Partnerships are in place with Kids4Peace, Alliance for Middle East Peace, Combatants for Peace, Council of Christians, Jews and Muslims, Wasatia Centre for Moderate Islam and The Peres Centre for Peace. People from these organisations have been consulted regarding the film, thereby ensuring the narrative and perspective is well informed, fair and balanced. A collaborative partnership exists with Israeli Palestinian Bereaved Families such that they have given me full cooperation and access to their printed and film materials. A Palestinian psychologist has been engaged as a consultant on issues relevant to the Palestinian experience of trauma and conflict. Furthermore relationships are in place with local Jewish, Muslim and Palestinian organizations and communities in Australia. These organisations will promote screenings and maximize audiences, tapping into the existing reach of each organization.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

We hope viewers increase their awareness of resilience after trauma and learn about posttraumatic growth. We hope viewers gain understanding of a possible roadmap to reconciliation for people in situations of conflict and trauma and see how personal empathy and political reconciliation can be actively developed. We hope viewers gain a sense of hope about conflict resolution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with the understanding that there people on both sides who are working towards peace. We hope there is a change in negative stereotypes about Palestinians or Israelis, a reduction in fear, mistrust and hate, and an increase in empathy. We hope viewers actively support the work of Israeli Palestinian Bereaved Families and other organisations working in the space of Israeli Palestinian collaboration and conflict resolution. We hope viewers rally their communities and pressure politicians to reduce negative stereotyping, support conflict resolution and work towards policy change.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

Indicators for success include the number of people who watch the film, community screenings organised and the use of additional educational resources about trauma and conflict resolution. We will look at how the film is used as a therapeutic tool and an advocacy resource. We will assess how many people attend events where the film characters speak and how many people engage with the online education material. We will monitor how many screenings take place at universities, interfaith and community centres and NGO’s both locally and internationally. Where possible we will devise methods to assess changes in attitudes about trauma, stereotypes, reduction of fear and hate of the other, and increase in empathy. We will assess changes in viewers’ beliefs about conflict resolution. We will assess how much funding is raised for Israeli Palestinian Bereaved Families. We will assess conversation in the media on the topic and changes in policy.