Building Bridges for Peace is an American program that brings Israeli and Palestinian teenage girls to New Jersey for nine days’ worth of intensive dialogue that’s supposed to foster mutual understanding. My So-Called Enemy follows members of the 2002 class as they take part in the program, then documents their lives for seven years once they’re home. At the center of the film are Gal, an Israeli in Tel Aviv, and Rezan, a Palestinian Christian in East Jerusalem. Friends before Building Bridges, they maintain a strong bond through the course of the film, even when Gal joins the Israeli military for her mandatory service. The longitudinal nature of the film adds perspective and depth—we see some of the girls change drastically, while others, especially those who had more progressive views to begin with, stay largely the same. If the film has a flaw, it’s that it tries to do too much. Inas’ story seems compelling but gets short shrift, and it’s hard to say why director Lisa Gossels chose Adi as one of her subjects. Still, it’s a provocative, balanced film that offers unexpected hope for resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
At 7:15 p.m. at AFI Silver Theater 2; also on Thursday, June 24, at 12:30 p.m. at the Discovery HD Theater.