PEACE CAFE - Visions of Peace 
The documentary Visions of Peace opens at a Peace Cafe held at
Mimi's American Bistro, where hanging cloths and colorful artwork warm up the industrial-style space. One hundred and fifty men and women---Arab, Israeli, and American---sit at round tables and pass baskets of pita, left whole to underscore the symbolism of breaking bread together. The Peace Cafe participants have just seen a locally produced live performance of David Hare's one man play Via Dolorossa, about the playwright's 1999 trip to Israel.

The documentary focuses on The Peace Cafe's attempt to see and to move forward. A collaboration between Andy Shallal, an Iraqi restaurateur, and Ari Roth, a Jewish-American theatre director, the cafes have been held in Washington, D.C., restaurants and the Jewish Community Center (JCC) over the last two years.

The Peace Cafes were born of the frustration Roth and Shallal each felt watching the news from the Middle East. Shallal wanted to take positive action by bringing Arabs and Jews together to communicate about the most difficult topic before them. At the same time, Roth was bringing David Hare's play to the JCC's Theater J. Because of the strong feelings he knew the play would elicit, Roth wanted to have a discussion session after the performance. Roth and Shallal's collaboration began and expanded.
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