Dancing In Jaffa (2014)



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Pierre Dulaine, an internationally renowned ballroom dancer, fulfills a life-long dream when he takes his program, Dancing Classrooms, back to his city of birth, Jaffa. Over a ten-week period, Pierre teaches 10-year-old Palestinian-Israeli and Jewish- Israeli children to dance and compete together. Dancing in Jaffa explores the complex stories of three different children, who are forced to confront issues of identity, segregation and racial prejudice as they dance with their enemy. The classroom becomes a microcosm of the Middle East's struggle to work together harmoniously while still caught in the politics of the region and race. With the guidance of Pierre, the children learn to dance together and trust one another. Dancing In Jaffa offers an up-close-and-personal perspective of how the future might unfold if the art of movement and dance could triumph over the politics of history and geography. (c) IFC Films
Documentary , Musical & Performing Arts
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Critic Reviews for Dancing In Jaffa

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (12)

This doc is a little scrappy, but it's very sweet.

Full Review… | February 8, 2015
Time Out
Top Critic

We barely get to know the children or see much of their dancing. By the time the winner of the competition is announced, it is not much of a surprise, and there is little emotional payout.

Full Review… | May 1, 2014
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

Dulaine comes off as grossly opportunistic, playing the compassionate clown with the children and using the most self-aggrandizing language imaginable to explain his methods to teachers and parents.

Full Review… | May 1, 2014
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

"Dancing in Jaffa" is a charming, often moving documentary about how dance can work magic in breaking down barriers.

April 24, 2014
Seattle Times
Top Critic

While the movie can feel disjointed at times, bouncing around to cover so much territory, the climax of the kids's ballroom competition makes up for any quibbles.

Full Review… | April 24, 2014
Washington Post
Top Critic

A documentary that doesn't force-feed its message of hope but genuinely earns it.

Full Review… | April 17, 2014
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Dancing In Jaffa

Very well made Documentary about the performing arts of dance. Mixing that with political views, religion, and children is difficult to do, and they do a great job pulling it off as sympathetic and enjoyable to watch.

Randy Pronk
Randy Pronk

"Dancing in Jaffa" is an exceptional, beautiful documentary about how to solve thee Middle East crisis one dance at a time. The remarkable element which places this film "over the top," is the way in which we get "inside the heads" of the Palestinian and Israeli students to see how they figure out how to break down the long existing walls of prejudice and hatred and rebuild a new beginning in which they teach their elders how to speak to each other and dance. Bravo and thanks to all who took part in making this most enjoyable film.

Jerry Kane
Jerry Kane

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