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Mideast Film Festival opens Nov. 8 in Sonoma

DIANNE REBER HART , TOWNS CORRESPONDENT

Various aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be featured during an upcoming Mideast Film Festival in Sonoma.

Sonomans for Justice and Peace in Palestine hosts the free series on three Sundays, from Nov. 8 to Dec. 6, in Andrews Hall at the Sonoma Community Center, 276 E. Napa St.

Films begin at 2 p.m., with donations accepted. Proceeds will be used toward the group’s mission to raise awareness about the conflict in the Middle East.

A discussion period follows each showing.

“Occupation 101” on Nov. 8 is a documentary that looks at the current and root causes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the U.S. government’s involvement.

Two films will be shown on Nov. 22, “My Neighborhood” and “My So-Called Enemy.”

“My Neighborhood” is the story of a Palestinian boy who joins his community in nonviolent protests after he loses half of his home to Israeli settlers. Scores of Israelis support the effort of the Palestinians.

“My So-Called Enemy” explores the transformation of a group of Palestinian and Israeli teenage girls who participate in a cross-cultural leadership program.

“Little Town of Bethlehem” on Dec. 6 follows three men born into violence who are willing to risk everything for peace. A Christian, a Muslim and a Jew, they are shaped by events of their upbringings and find inspiration in the lives of Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi.

The free film festival is designed to offer a larger, more inclusive perspective of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Sonomans for Justice and Peace in Palestine is dedicated to raising awareness about the conflict. Its hope is for justice, peace and security for both Israelis and Palestinians.

The group is affiliated with the North Coast Coalition on Palestine, Sonoma Veterans for Peace, Sonoma Valley Peace and Justice and Jewish Voice for Peace.

Contact Sonoma Valley Correspondent Dianne Reber Hart at SonomaTowns@gmail.com.