What People Are Saying about the Film

  Provocative, courageous, sobering. Courage, once modeled, is not easily dismissed. Sacrifice is an early reality when reconciliation is pursued. It always takes a special commitment, a long obedience, a faithfulness that remains true in spite of extremism on both sides. But ultimately, this is the only path to peace. Little Town of Bethlehem draws us to the ‘other,’ the ‘neighbor’ whom we have been called to love. Real people, claiming the moral high ground, give this movie its credibility and lasting relevance.  
  Robert Seiple  
  Author, Speaker, and Former World Vision U.S. President  
  A painful and inspiring account of the lingering difficult relationship between Israelis and Palestinians which has left deep wounds in the Holy Land and its people. An important film about the the Middle East, the Holy Land and the struggle for peace in-spite all odds.  
  Yuval Ron  
  Award-winning composer, world music artist, record producer, and educator  
  Los Angeles, CA  
  Writer-Director, Jim Hanon masterfully melds the stories and lives of these three men with stunning results. His juxtaposition of footage from the 1964 U.S. Civil Rights movement and 1987 Palestinian “Intifada” is so adept it’s sometime hard to tell the two apart. The music bed he employs ranges from traditional acoustic strings, to a haunting blues harmonica and an infectious urban rap. Little Town of Bethlehem delivers in a very big way.  
  Tim Gardner  
  Chagrin Documentary Film Festival  
  This film takes the viewer right into the heart of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict … [it] traces the effects of the some of the pivotal events in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Brutal in its scenes of bombed-out buildings and the human casualties of continuous warfare, the film is also filled with tenderness, hope, and the deep love of family and the land that both sides in the conflict share.  
  Spirituality & Health magazine  

Academic

  Telling a good story is hard work. Telling a story that matters to history is even harder. Little Town of Bethlehem does both, and deserves a wide viewing in the parliaments and congresses of the world, in universities and colleges, in churches, synagogues and mosques. The eye-for-an-eye history of the Middle East is wrought of great grievances that are as old as the human race, but it is a fiction to think that there is any future without an honest willingness to be for each others’ histories and hopes—Jew, Muslim, and Christian together. The film is a passionate account of three people who have decided differently, and are laying down their lives for peace—and therefore for a future.  
  Dr. Steven Garber  
  The Washington Institute  
  The Center for Contemporary Arab Studies is delighted to join with our other colleagues in Washington, D.C., to host a screening of Little Town of Bethlehem. This event dovetails with our objective of providing fair and balanced information about the Arab world by drawing attention to an important movement developing in one of the region’s most enduring conflicts. We look forward to an engaging and lively discussion with the film’s producers and cast members.  
  Dr. Barbara Stowasser  
  Director, Professor of Arabic & Islamic Studies  
  Center for Contemporary Arab Studies  
  Remarkable! Stories of transformation are very powerful. Showing people changing their minds especially when they come from such opposite backgrounds helps others embrace the message that they can change. It is neither anti nor pro actually it is actually empathetic to both historic narratives. It humanizes a conflict that the media has dehumanized. It also helps provide a counter narrative to the popular storyline of violence.  
  Dr. Varun Soni  
  Dean of USC Office of Religious Life  
  This was HIGHLY educational! The profound thing about the film is how the subtle message of the Prince of Peace is woven throughout as the answer to the crisis. The message he taught of loving one another is central. It showed the need to forgive and recognize the full humanity of the other and also be willing to sacrifice for the other. That was powerful.  
  Dr. Michael O’Neal  
  President of Oklahoma Christian University  
  The screening of Little Town of Bethlehem at Hope College, for students and the community was excellent. After the film was over, everyone applauded and gave the thumbs up.  
  Habeeb Awad  
  Professor and International Student Advisor, Hope College  
  Little Town of Bethlehem is a powerful movie that reframes the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. At heart we see it is a conflict between those who use violence to achieve their goals and those who insist on nonviolence. This movie is effective in showing that Israelis and Palestinians occupy both groups. It encourages hope by telling the story of Israelis and Palestinians who are equally committed to the nonviolent struggle for equality and against the Israeli occupation.  
  Oded Na’aman  
  Harvard University Philosophy Student PhD Program  
  and Former Israeli Defense Forces Commander  
  We welcome this well-made and important film on one of the most hopeful developments in our grim world: the inspiring courage of Palestinians in their nonviolent resistance. This Bay-Area premiere should raise our consciousness—and our hopes.  
  Michael Nagler  
  Professor emeritus of Classics and Comparative Literature UC, Berkeley  
  founder of Peace and Conflict Studies Program  
  President of The Metta Center for Nonviolence Education  
  This new educational documentary is an excellent catalyst for more discussion regarding peace and the nonviolent peace movement. Our students benefit from dialogue with people not so much older than themselves who have made the difficult choice to pursue justice nonviolently amid violence.  
  Eve Spangler  
  Associate Professor of Sociology Boston College  
  In a time when terrorism, violence and corruption are at its peak and humanity is filled with anger and hatred, there is a need to be reminded on the value of non-violence. Little Town of Bethlehem is a remarkable tool to instill and inculcate an alternative for reconciliation and peace.  
  Dr. Paul “Bobby” Gupta  
  President of Hindustan Bible Institute & College India  
  With skilled production design, outstanding soundtrack, and a compelling story line, Little Town of Bethlehem follows the stories of a Palestinian Muslim, a Palestinian Christian and an Israeli Jew as they explore and explain their unique experiences in the Holy Land. Above all, these are three men who are committed to non-violent peacemaking who nevertheless explain the injustices within their country with candor and passion. I highly recommend the film.  
  Gary M. Burge, Ph.D.  
  Wheaton College  

Religious Leaders

  Little Town of Bethlehem offers an opportunity to spark discussions about the need for nonviolence. It humanizes everyone from each side of the issue so we can understand each other’s pain.  
  Paul Raushenbush  
  Senior Religion Editor, The Huffington Post  
  People tend to have a shallow understanding about the conflict in the Middle East. I think this is an important film because it exposes people to the reality in a voice that creates much less antagonism than many others. Most impacting for me was the connection it made between the psychological trauma of the Holocaust and the existential fear of Israeli society. The three life stories allow the audience to feel the reality on an emotional not merely an intellectual level.  
  Rabbi Avi Novis-Deutsch  
  Peace Activist, Rabbi for Human Rights  
  When I was in college, I was moved greatly by the documentary Eyes on the Prize. This film series told the story of the Civil Rights Movement and watching it changed my life on many levels. It played a role in my calling to Christ-centered, reconciling, multi-ethnic, and Kingdom-minded ministry. Little Town of Bethlehem has gripped me in the same way Eyes on the Prize did years ago. This film really is a must see for Christian leaders. I even highly recommend this film for small group ministry within local churches as well as forums focused on reconciliation and a global understanding of racial righteousness.  
  Efrem Smith  
  Superintendent of the Pacific Southwest Conference  
  of the Evangelical Covenant Church  
  Most films will entertain you. Good films will educate you as well. Brilliant films will engage and move you to action. Once in a while along comes a film that motivates you to become a participant rather than spectator. This is one of those rare films.  
  Stephen Sizer  
  Vicar of Christ Church, Virginia Water UK  
  There are few subjects which bring up such strong – and polarized – reactions as the Israel-Palestine conflict. Many of us hope and pray for a breakthrough that will get us beyond the longstanding impasse of entrenched positions. Little Town of Bethlehem could help bring about such a breakthrough, showing us the nonviolent power of faith, hope, and love embodied in a Christian, a Muslim, and a Jew.  
  Brian McLaren  
  Author, Speaker, Activist  
  I think every American—certainly every Christian—should watch this film!  
  Lynne Hybels  
  Author, Speaker and Advocate for Peace with Justice  

Organization Leaders & More Academic Endorsements

  Very helpful! One of the barriers to reconciliation between Israel and Palestine has been fear. That can only be overcome by seeing in the other humanity capable of being loved. Little Town of Bethlehem gives us a context to show us how this is possible. This film also gives us a model of how we can extend to those we may have depersonalized the recognition of personhood.  
  Dr. Ralph Fertig  
  President of the Humanitarian Law Project  
  This movie touches on the most crucial aspect in the political reality of our country that continues to be ignored by the major organs of communication. It brings a much more precise and accurate depiction of the most important thing taking place in the Middle East.  
  Elik Elhanan  
  Israeli Member of Combatants for Peace  
  Columbia Ph.D. student in Middle Eastern Studies  
  Before I visited the Holy Land, I read a book called Blood Brothers by Elias Chacour, A Melkite priest who experienced the establishment of Israel first-hand as an Arab Christian young person. His life’s focus has been building relationships as a means of fostering a new way of moving into the future for Israelis and Palestinians. Little Town of Bethlehem is a film seeking to move in this same peaceful direction for reconciliation in Israel. The film sets the stage for meaningful conversation for young adults (and adults) seeking new ways to impact their world.  
  Mike Ratliff  
  Associate General Secretary  
  Young People’s Ministries, GBOD  
  When screening the film to audiences in Northern Ireland I have seen the powerful changes that can occur in people and their thinking towards the Middle East and the people living there. I have witnessed people understanding Israeli and Palestinian society so much more in a touching way that gives people the opportunity to say that nonviolence is a viable option to solve the injustices faced in this world.  
  Gary Spedding  
  President  
  Queen’s University Belfast Palestine Solidarity Society  
  Please accept my admiration, congratulations, and above all gratitude for the wonderful film. It is compelling, frank, and hope-giving. It will influence minds. And it ought to be seen by millions of Americans.  
  Rajmohan Gandhi  
  Research Professor, Center for South Asian & Middle Eastern Studies  
  Grandson of Mahatma Gandhi  
  My perspective on the peace process in the Middle East was COMPLETELY shifted through watching this film. For once, I felt that I was being given more than one side of the story, and that was very valuable. Even if you don’t agree with everything said, it’s so good to see real people engaging in real discussions about a better solution.  
  Trevor Schuh  
  Wycliffe Bible Translators USA  
  Ethnographic media makes a major contribution to the subject of nonviolence through the creation of Little Town of Bethlehem. The movie is about courage. Courage in this case involves the willingness to think and act against the flow of ones culture and offer an alternative, an alternative to ongoing decades of war and violence. Steeped in the non-violent tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the film portrays three people who have taken a stand and have decided to be willing to pay a price for their stand against the “eye for an eye” mentality of the Middle East, each in their own unique way. All have paid a price. One is especially struck by the Israeli who creates a movement within his own military to put an end to military abuse of civilians.  
  From a critical standpoint, the movie does an excellent job of putting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in historical context. It starts out a bit slow, but stay alert, it soon picks up speed and become riveting and engaging. You will meet three people whom you will not soon forget. I plan on showing the movie to friends. It will stimulate ongoing discussion and hopefully action.  
  Dean Richard Gathro  
  Nyack College, Washington, D.C.  
  The response was very positive: “powerful” and “moving.” Good discussions followed the showings about the power of nonviolence and greater awareness of the conflict.  
  Curtiss Paul DeYoung  
  Bethel University  
  In terms of content, (in my opinion) this documentary which has been excellently done is a “must see” for everyone and anyone who has an interest in the underpinnings of “will or can there ever be a peaceful solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict?” The film takes you behind the scenes where the media normally never take you or dare to go!  
  As powerful as the film was, the special Q & A at the conclusion of the film with men featured in the film was even more compelling.  
  I was extremely impressed with the passion and understanding that these individuals portrayed as they responded to questions from the audience.  
  We need to consider how we here at Nyack might engage this event in our global learning environment. It certainly has content to increase our awareness from our historical, political, social, and theological persuasions.  
  Charles Hammond  
  Dean of Students, Nyack College and Seminary