This is a worthwhile film, told in a calm precise tone. You see young, secular Palestinians, a female blogger, communicating with a male blogger in Gaza. The Palestinians come out looking good; they are like many Palestinians I have known over the decades: educated, sincere, rational. Salaam Fayyad, who I’ve met on several occasions, is the hero — authentic, unassuming, gettingdown to business. I was quite impressed with him when our Symposium group first met him. Also, Jeremy Ben-Ami, the president of J St., is interviewed several times and is excellent.
After decades of ongoing strife between Israel and Palestine, many observers believe the only reasonable solution for peace is for the two peoples to have two separate states, and in 2009, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad began promoting a campaign that would see Palestine recognized as a state by the United Nations. Fayyad sought to set aside divisiveness and instead asked Palestinians to imagine what sort of a state they would want, and then take concrete steps towards making it a reality. Fayyad’s campaign, which he freely admitted was inspired by the program that led to the U.S.’s recognition of Israel in 1949, earned the respect of a number of international leaders and helped establish a common ground between many activists in the Middle East, but the plan fell short of its goals. Filmmaker Dan Setton profiles Salam Fayyad and chronicles his efforts to bring Palestine to the United Nations in the documentary State 194. The film was an official selection at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi