Knowledge is the Beginning


Documentary
Documentary

The film chronicles all five summer workshops in Weimar and Seville, Barenboim’s visit to Ramallah and Jerusalem in May 2004 – during which he received the prestigious Wolf Prize at the Knesset – as well as the sensational concert in Ramallah in August 2005.


$400 

Learn More



Knowledge is the Beginning
A Film by: Paul Smaczny
(Germany, 2006, 115 Minutes, Color, English, English subtitles)

For many years, conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim has worked towards reconciling Arabs and Israelis. Based on the notion that “music is the language of peace”, Barenboim and comparative literature professor Edward Said brought together Arab and Israeli musicians, to perform in Weimar on the 250th anniversary of the birth of Goethe. Also participating in this bold experiment in 1999 was Yo-Yo Ma. The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, a name derived from a collection of poems by Goethe, today embraces eighty Arab and Israeli musicians aged thirteen to twenty-six. 

Director Paul Smaczny has followed the orchestra since its inception. The film chronicles all five summer workshops in Weimar and Seville, Barenboim’s visit to Ramallah and Jerusalem in May 2004 – during which he received the prestigious Wolf Prize at the Knesset – as well as the sensational concert in Ramallah in August 2005.

QUOTES

“Paul Smaczy has accompanied the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, founded in 1999 by Edward W. Said and Daniel Barenboim, for six years.  What has resulted is a must-see cinematic work of art …” - Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 20/08/05

“Il faut regarder "Knowledge Is The Beginning", le documentaire exceptionnel de Paul Smaczny …” - Le Monde, 25/08/06

AWARDS, FESTIVALS & SCREENINGS

• Award for Best Arts Documentary - Banff World Television Festival 2007
• San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 2007 
• International Emmy Award 2006 Arts Programming (2006) 
• FIPA D’OR Grand Prize 2007 Category, “Performing Arts” (2007)
• Award for the Documentary of Highest Cultural Value, DOCFEST Palermo 
• ECHO Klassik 2006 
• Basel-Karlsruhe-Forum 2007 - The Youth Jury Prize (2007)
• San Diego Jewish Film Festival - Audience Award for Best Documentary 
• Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival
• Mexico Jewish Film Festival
• Northern Virginia  Jewish Film Festival
• Detroit Jewish Film Festival
• Temple Israel, Sharon MA
• Tucson Jewish Film Festival
• Beth El, Aptos CA  Jewish Film Festival
• Cherry Hill (NJ) Jewish Film Festival
• San Antonio Jewish Film Festival
• Venezuela Jewish Film Festival
• Durham Chapel Jewish Film Festival
• New Jersey Jewish Film Festival
• Pioneer Valley MA Jewish Film Festival
• Pittsburgh  Jewish Film Festival
• Dayton Jewish Film Festival
• Vancouver Jewish Film Festival
• White Sands International Film Festival (New Mexico)
• Cleveland International Film Festival 
• Tricycle Theatre (UK)
• Museum of World Culture (Sweden)
• Middle East Film Festival (Paris)
• Lisbon International Documentary Film Festival 
• Jecheon International Music and Film Festival (South Korea)
• Melbourne International Film Festival 
• Rodos Ecofilms Festival (Greece)
• Banff World Television Festival 2007 (Canada)
• Krakow Film Festival 
• Bath International Music Festival 
• Halifax Jewish Cultural Festival 
• Salt Lake Jewish Film Festival
• Barcelona Jewish Film Festival
• Berkshire (MA) Jewish Film Festival
• Youngstown Jewish Film Festival
• Sao Paulo Jewish Film Festival
• Sonoma County Jewish Film Festival
• San Jose Jewish Film Festival
• Allentown Jewish Film Series
• Charlotte Jewish Film Festival
• ISJL-Jewish Cinema South