Lecture Series

Open Bethlehem, with filmmaker Leila Sansour

3-5 pm
at Augustana Lutheran Church
5000 E Alameda at Fairfax, Denver
Please use the Fairfax Street entrance

Also: Thursday, April 6, 6:30 pm
DU Lindsey Auditorium, Rm 281 - Sturm Hall, 2000 E Asbury
sponsored by Joseph Korbel School of International Studies
See details

A Big Film about a Small Town

Filmmaker Leila Sansour will be with us to present her new film, Open Bethlehem.

“… a fierce and poignant plea against the incarceration of a city” – Film of the Week, The Guardian

Open Bethlehem is a story of a homecoming to the world’s most famous little town. The film spans five momentous years in the life of Bethlehem, revealing a city of astonishing beauty and political strife under occupation. The film draws from 700 hours of original footage and some rare archive material.

Meet the filmmaker, Leila Sansour—hear her speak about her return to her hometown as it is becoming encircledby Israel’s wall. Open Bethlehem is a film, but it is also a movement—to save her city. The face of Bethlehem is changing rapidly with potentially detrimental consequences. Reports predict that if trends continue the Christian community of Bethlehem, a city that provides a model for a multi faith Middle East, may be unsustainable within one generation. Leila’s plan to stay a year stretches to five, and is only resolved when she realizes that, sometimes, the biggest dreams take flight from the smallest places.

Other Colorado events with Leila:

  • Thursday, April 6, Film screening and discussion, 6:30 p.m. DU Lindsey Auditorium, Rm. 281, Sturm Hall, 2000 E. Asbury Ave. Sponsored by the Joseph Korbel School of International Studies, Middle East Study Group, DU Conflict Resolution Institute, and DU Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence, Religious and Spiritual Life.
  • Sunday April, 9, Dinner and reception, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Phoenician Kabob Restaurant, 5709 E. Colfax Ave., Denver. Donations for Open Bethlehem project welcome. Copies of film available for purchase. RSVP by April 7 to: Mary Ellen Garrett, 303-321-0765 or mellenmail@yahoo.com  

Jews Step Forward - a new film

at Augustana Lutheran Church
5000 E Alameda at Fairfax, Denver
Please use the Fairfax Street entrance

"Jews Step Forward traces a path grounded in the core ideals of Jewish identity, which ultimately must separate personal morality and conscience from socialized loyalty to Israel. It is a multi voice account by American Jews across the U.S., saying “no longer in my name”. Having moved beyond self censorship in the face of institutional power and social censure, they know that without help, Israel cannot rescue itself from its tragic devolution. Just as the American Jewish community historically was a leader in the Civil Rights Movement, so must it speak the unvarnished truth about Israel today." - AWARENESS FILM FEST 2016

“Open ended policies of torture, imprisonment, and murder of indigenous Palestinians including children, contempt for international norms, and the rise of laws mirroring fascism, all poison any idea of national permanence for Israel based upon peace and regional integration.

The subjects of this film speak with the same Jewish voice, which historically led the struggle for justice around the world, cutting through visceral defenses to demand an awakening and a Judaism liberated from Zionism.” - Jewsstepforward.com

Rich Forer participated in the making of the film and will lead a discussion following the film.

Watch the trailer