Jessica Hentoff (founder of the St. Louis Arches) & Rabbi Mark Rosenstein (founder of the Galilee Circus) are animated by the same basic idea: since all kids love the circus, maybe they can learn to love each other under the Big Top?
In Alexandra Lipsitz’ new doc Circus Kids, Hentoff brings her multiracial mix from mid-America, & after a week of rehearsals with Rosenstein’s teens (some of whom are Jewish & some of whom are Arab), & they all go on tour around Israel together.
Since their stunts depend primarily on physical agility, the kids are able to communicate with each other despite their many different languages, & the kids they meet in their various audiences are thrilled by the performers’ exuberance. So it’s all lots of fun to watch, but, alas, when it’s over, I’m not sure that anything much remains beyond the pretty pictures.
Chicago International Film Festival screenings of Circus Kids are scheduled for Sat 10/9 & Sun 10/10.
Note that filmmaker Alexandra Lipsitz & members of Circus Harmony’s St. Louis Arches will attend both screenings.
Click HERE to order tickets.
Photo downloaded from the website.
It may not have come across in the film but much more has remained besides the pretty pictures. We just got back from our second journey to Israel and the Israelis came here in 2008. The young people from both countries have formed deep friendships and stay in touch via email and Facebook. I can honestly say it has truly expanded the concept of community for all concerned.
This last visit, we performed in a town where a local political campaign had a party whose slogan was “vote for us and we’ll keep the Arabs out of this town” and at an Arab club that held a pro-Palestinian rally shortly after our show. The work these young people are doing is important and has an impact — if only to show that there really is another path to peace.
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