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Movie review: Documentary ‘Dancing in Jaffa’ a superficial look at Israel’s conflict
First Published May 08 2014 04:06 pm • Last Updated May 11 2014 12:16 pm

An extraordinary bridge-building effort in Israel is given the ordinary movie treatment in the documentary "Dancing in Jaffa."

The film follows Pierre Dulaine, a former four-time world champion in ballroom dancing, as he returns to his birthplace: Jaffa, Israel, where a third of the population is — like his mother — Palestinian.

At a glance

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‘Dancing in Jaffa’

Opens Friday, May 2, at the Tower Theatre; not rated, but probably PG for language and discussions of war; in English, and in Hebrew and Arabic, with subtitles; 90 minutes.

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Dulaine’s dream is to teach ballroom dancing to Palestinian and Jewish students and get them to dance together. It’s a noble mission, trying to establish personal connections to overcome decades of conflict.

Alas, director Hilla Medalia takes a very conventional, root-for-the-underdog approach to the story that doesn’t dig into the intractable attitudes Dulaine encounters from wary parents and giggling students.

movies@sltrib.com; www.sltrib.com/entertainment




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