Jake Witzenfeld“I hope that Oriented can help people unlearn their defensive and divisive behavior and ’embrace the grey’ of the complex human stories that may lead us to a reconstructive attitude in forging a shared future,” said Jake Witzenfeld, Director/Producer of Oriented.

Sharing why he wanted to make this film, he continued, “As a British Jew tired of the cyclically clashing narratives on the Israel-Palestine conflict, and an expat in Tel Aviv alarmed by the depressing blanket generalizing by Jewish Israelis of their Arab minority population, this story immediately struck me as one I wanted to tell.”

On August 3rd, at Big Picture Theater in Waitsfield, over 50 community members came together to watch this film, discuss the overlapping themes it explores, and relate it to work being done here in the Green Mountain State. The event was a partnership of the PJC, Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel, Outright Vermont, and Pride Center of Vermont. Also a new group called Green Mountain Solidarity with Palestine joined in last minute as part of the discussion.

Oriented Equal LogoIn the post-film talk, people highlighted meaningful insights such as the similar experience of coming out as queer Vermonters and queer Palestinians; the history of Israel/Palestine that is illuminated in the film through personal story but not outlined in a direct way; the importance of a chosen family; and the joy in taking on oppressive systems.

We are pleased to say that between the contribution of one major donor plus donations at the door, partnering organizations raised over $100 each. More importantly, each of us engaged new people in our work.

Thank you to everyone who was a part of this program for continuously working to create a more just and peaceful world.