by Fabrizio Fracassi
„La Troisième Langue“ examines the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a wide range of narratives. It centers around a Swiss Jewish theatre director named Dalit Bloch who, after 40 years, returns to her home country of Israel to stage Gottfried Keller's „A Village Romeo and Juliet“ with a mixed group of Jewish and Arabic teenagers. As the Swiss novella touches on some common issues arising from today's deeply divided territory, it also paves the way for the documentary's larger preoccupation with peace, reconciliation and tolerance. „La Troisième Langue“ ably illustrates the fundamental rift between Jews and Palestinians while never catering to extremist voices, and is at it’s best when following the development of Dalit Bloch's production at the Arab-Hebrew Theatre in the Old City of Jaffa. During the weeks of rehearsing Keller's drama in this neutral space the teenagers reject the prevailing animosity and detachment in favour of mutual empathy.