The Seam Line | A Film and Discussion About Jerusalem
45 – 60 MINUTE PRESENTATION [FOLLOWED BY] 15 – 30 MINUTES Q & A = 60 – 90 [TOTAL] MINUTES
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Constantly updated to reflect current developments.
خط التماس | Kav Ha Tefer | קו התפר
The Seam Line | Documentary Series | Jerusalem
Briefing Overview |
The Seam Line is a five-part documentary series examining the fragile threads that, woven together, create Jerusalem’s Christian, Jewish, and Muslim tapestry – simultaneously connecting and dividing Israelis and Palestinians, religious and secular, sacred and profane. Living together in this multi-cultural, multi-religious, multi-identity city is not always a matter of choice, but often the consequence of history and circumstance. However, alongside the inevitable frictions and tensions, unexpected collaborations, friendships, and partnerships can and do develop.
In the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s, the Arab-Israeli conflict exploded into the intifada – lethal and violent protests and riots throughout Israel. This was the most chaotic and dangerous period in the history of the modern city of Jerusalem. Avi Melamed, a fourth-generation Jerusalemite Jew, former intelligence officer, fluent Arab speaker and Middle East expert, is the host of The Seam Line. As the Advisor on Arab Affairs to two Mayors of Jerusalem during the intifada, his mission was to rebuild relations between the Arab and Jewish communities in Jerusalem. His work put him in the epicenter of this deadly storm.
The Seam Line is not a historical documentary. Rather, it is an invitation to join Avi on a personal journey through the city, from north to south, east to west. It is an unparalleled opportunity to explore the conflict in and over Jerusalem from his unique perspective. Along the way, you will meet Avi’s Arab and Jewish friends who will give you insights and perspectives rarely explored by the Western media. Their conversations also demonstrate that constructive bridges can be built in times of extreme conflict. Our goal and hope is that the philosophy, principles, and conflict resolution strategies Avi shares in this series will not only illuminate the challenges faced by a single city but open the door to a more productive discussion of the entire Israeli-Palestine conflict and, beyond that, to the complex reality of the Middle East as a whole.
Following an intelligence career in Arab cities and communities throughout the Middle East, Teddy Kollek, the iconic Mayor of Jerusalem for over 30 years, called Avi Melamed in for a special meeting. “I’ve heard good things about you,” Teddy said. That is how Avi Melamed, at the age of 29, became the youngest Advisor on Arab Affairs in the city of Jerusalem during one of the most chaotic and violent chapters in Jerusalem’s history – the 1st and 2nd intifadas.
His task? To enter Arab and Jewish communities and neighborhoods to contain the violence and improve the lives of all of the city’s residents. As a fourth-generation Jerusalemite Jew, but fluent Arab speaker, Avi embraced this extraordinary – and dangerous – challenge to offer hope in times of despair to a city that he is a part of – and that is a part of him. Working with the city’s residents to build bridges of understanding and cooperation, cultivate local leadership, and reduce the flames of friction and conflict, his innovate solutions were often unprecedented and groundbreaking.
Drawing on this unique background, The Seam Line is a five-part documentary journey with Avi, from the Old City to Arab and Jewish neighborhoods throughout Jerusalem that were – and are – at the heart of the city’s conflicts. Going behind the scenes to see and feel the complex and challenging geopolitical fabric of the city, The Seam Line provides a rare opportunity to explore Jerusalem through the eyes of someone who walked the line between Arab and Jewish communities during one of the most explosive periods of its history. Avi’s conversations with both Jewish and Arab residents reach beyond the physical borders and particular challenges facing this ancient city to embrace perspectives on Jerusalem, Israel, and the Middle East seldom, if ever, addressed by the Western media or in Western discourse.
The Seamline does not attempt to tell you what to think about Jerusalem – or about the Middle East generally. Instead, drawing on the two pillars that underpin Avi’s broader educational effort – Inside the Middle East – the series encourages the viewer, first, to see the city’s conflicts in the context of the broader cross-currents of the Middle East (or as Avi puts it: “To understand Israel, you must understand the neighborhood”) and, secondly, to adopt, foster and promote critical thinking based on local perspectives and realities. In short, to view Jerusalem from within; to see the city from the points of view of its inhabitants, free of the perspectives and preoccupations of outside observers. Approaching its subject from this apolitical, non-partisan perspective, we hope The Seam Line helps to open the door to a more productive dialogue about the Israeli-Palestine conflict and the broader reality of the Middle East.
The series is produced by Ayelet Ephrati, directed by Eitan Sarid, and hosted by Avi Melamed. It is scheduled for release in early 2023 and will be available on an Israeli streaming platform called IZZY – Stream Israel.
This briefing is PERFECT before a trip to Israel and/or the Palestinian Territories and it is the perfect way to BEGIN your trip in Israel and/or the Palestinian Territories.
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