“None of us are born with hatred…”
Allié: The discord between Israelis and Palestinians is one of the world's most enduring conflicts. I love that you confront this contention with the engagement of children and the bond they build despite a wall between them. It speaks to the hope for humanity. Do you believe it is our children that can and will end this conflict?
Roy: I would like to believe that children will end this terrible conflict, even though at the moment it seems like an imaginary fantasy. The conflict is not good for anyone, it is important to me that everyone knows it.
None of us are born with hatred, so children are our hope because they have not yet had time to close their hearts towards the other side. I believe that if Nathan and Khaled were the leaders of both countries, there would be a real opportunity for peace.
Allié: It’s incredible how many insights were manifested in the mere 729 seconds of your film. Do you have a personal favorite scene or statement?
Roy: I really like the scene where Nathan runs to warn Khaled while putting himself in danger. This is a very dramatic scene that symbolizes the biggest change that has taken place in Nathan. If until now he only found a friend beyond the wall to play with, at this point he shakes off all perceptions with which he came to the wall for the first time, and chooses to save his friend - the most logical act for him and for any humane person.
Allié: ‘Over The Wall’ creates awareness for the realities of our time and the versions of it that we instill in our children. If there was a single action to serve our children that you would like parents to take upon seeing your film, what would that be?
Roy: It's all about education from a very young age. Your children will absorb their values and beliefs from the environment, and you have no control over that. But a very significant part of their development and perceptions of reality take place in childhood, at home.
My statement to every parent: Teach your children to open their minds and not accept everything as absolute truth. Educate them to have empathy for the other side. Show them that there are good people on the other side as well, and most importantly, tell them that life is short, and it is a shame to waste it on hatred and fear. If there is a change one day, I believe it will come from below, from the people, who will say "Enough, we are tired of this constant pain." When there are enough people on both sides to do it openly, the people at the top will have no choice, they will have to accept the will of their citizens. ∎
Learn more about Roy Zafrani and his work by visiting his website:
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Roy Zafrani - @roy.zafrani
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44 AWARENOW / THE UNITED EDITION