Other than serving as potential homework for Jared Kushner, there just isn’t much of value in “Surviving Peace,” a self-serving documentary dialogue on the century-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict directed by Southern California-based Israeli attorney Josef Avesar.
Covering ground that has been more effectively interpreted by 2013’s “The Gatekeepers,” the film contends that the deeply ingrained culture of distrust between the two entities will make the two-state solution an unattainable goal.
To back up his claim, Avesar crosses back and forth between both sides of the West Bank barrier, asking the same questions of an assortment of government officials and political pundits including retired Israeli politician Dr. Yossi Beilin and Palestinian diplomat Saeb Muhammad Salih Erekat, resulting in a less than incisive debate that quickly goes around in tedious circles.
That’s before the novice director reveals a more self-serving agenda for making the film — to advance his own peace plan proposal, the Israeli-Palestinian Confederation (IPC), a grassroots movement that would see the creation of a third, independent government to find a middle ground, which has thus far been elusive.
Based on the dubious, and occasionally eye-rolling responses from the majority of those being pitched, the plan would appear to be as ill-conceived as “Surviving Peace” itself.
Running time: 1 hour, 33 minutes
Playing: Laemmle Royal, West L.A.; Laemmle Playhouse 7, Pasadena; Laemmle Town Center 5, Encino