Knowledge is the Beginning (Wir konnen nur den Hass verringern) (2005) - Rotten Tomatoes

Knowledge is the Beginning (Wir konnen nur den Hass verringern) (2005)

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In the early-mid 1990s, a unique and special friendship blossomed between two brilliant minds: that of renowned symphony conductor and classical pianist David Barenboim, and that of the late Edward Said, a professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University. The former was a Jew, the latter not only Palestinian but a vociferous Palestinian activist, yet incredibly, the two men forged a deep-rooted and enduring bond that transcended the boundaries and limitations of two cultures traditionally at violent odds with one another. The story grows increasingly wondrous with the knowledge that the men worked in unison to expand their transcendent camaraderie into the cultural realm, and there breached harmonization in the Middle East with stunning efficacy. They began with Barenboim's decision to conduct symphonies in the West Bank, then collaborated on the creation of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, a musical ensemble balanced equally between Israeli and Palestinian artists - an accomplishment that many hoped would serve as a harbinger of future achievements in the beleaguered Middle East. With his documentary portrait Knowledge is the Beginning, filmmaker Paul Smaczny chronicles the pair's awe-inspiring accomplishments, including the debut of the West-Eastern in Weimar on the 250th anniversary of Goethe's birth, Barenboim's trips to Jerusalem and Ramallah (and his reception of the Wolf Prize) and the orchestral ensemble's 2005 tour. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi

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