Movie review: Documentary 'Dancing in Jaffa' a superficial look at Israel's conflict

Published May 9, 2014 1:24 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

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.

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; http://www.sltrib.com/entertainment


'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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