In June 2014 Dalit and I fly to Tel Aviv again. We have organised a preview of the rough edited film to which all the participating teenagers, their parents, friends and helpers are invited. Everyone comes. An emotional moment, and the last chance to show all the teenagers a documentary of their time together. Shortly after that the Jewish teenagers are to be conscripted into the army.
It is the second last chapter of a fascinating, demanding journey which began eight years ago. Dalit’s idea of travelling to Israel with the “Swiss Romeo & Juliet” material and staging the theatre play „Yalla!“ and my project of making a film out of it.
The making of this film was an adventure. Because Israel is also the orient. Everything has it’s own rhythm, it doesn’t move, or moves only slowly, and then suddenly very fast. At first, the staging of the play seems quite impossible, because Dalit can’t find anyone who’s interested in it or because everyone says it is totally unrealistic. We even get to know the so-called „peace industry“ present in the Near East. The Gaza war starts and seems to destroy the whole effort already invested in the preparations. Then, unexpectedly, it seems that it is all possible, but only if we start tomorrow.
Dalit starts and we have to decide: do we do it or not? We do it, without knowing if we’ll get any financial support for the film or not. The shooting takes on many twists and turns and pulls us soon, with unbridled power, deep into the interior of this land.
We produce 130 hours of film material in five languages. It was only possible to condense it into a film because so many people, in Switzerland, Israel and in Palestine, helped, either voluntarily or by working for modest, almost symbolic wages.
In 2015 the remaining funds necessary to complete the film professionally were collected by a Swiss crowdfunding community in a breathtaking show of solidarity.
We want to thank them all from our hearts.