It is almost impossible for me to describe the painful journey I took over the past year. "One Day after Peace" reopened wounds, and made me revisit places and decisions swept conveniently under the carpet. The journey to South Africa, and the realization that all bereaved mothers, no matter where they come from, share the same pain was an affirmation that what I am doing in my life today after the loss of David is worthwhile and important if we are to prevent others from experiencing loss. The path I chose to take with the man, who killed my beloved David, is fraught with unanswered questions. Am I really honest? Have I really given up being a victim? Should my behavior be contingent on that of the man who killed my son? Will I ever really understand the meaning of forgiving, or am I destined to simply come to terms with understanding why the sniper chose to kill Israelis. It is clear that he did not kill David because he was David, he killed him because he was a symbol of an occupying army. When I heard that the sniper would be freed in exchange for the release of the kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, once again my words and actions were put to the test. This was both painful and heartbreaking, but at the same time cleansing. Out of this came a clear understanding of the complexities of reconciliation and dare I say it forgiving. South Africa opened possibilities for trying to heal the ongoing conflict in Israel and Palestine, we learned that even the most cynical and angry people who had suffered as a consequence of the system of Apartheid, still understood that without the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, there would have been a bloodbath. I learned that the promise of amnesty to the perpetrators was the only way to get to the truth and that also posed a moral question. The film makers gave me a unique opportunity to meet both victims and perpetrators and for this I am so grateful. Knowing you are not alone with your doubts and on the journey of understanding was a great comfort. Thank you Erez and Miri for your generosity of spirit and for wanting to make a difference, not just a film. I am not sure where life will next take me, my wish is that this film will bring some hope to people and encourage them show compassion and to take action towards a more peaceful existence for the next generation.
"Making this film we didn't want to reduce the question just to whether the South-African model of Truth and Reconciliation Committees (TRC) might work in context of ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? We wanted to elevate the level of discourse to the vision of the founders of the TRC, breaking the cycle of violence and revenge. During my research I was amazed by the testimonies and horrifying details that were exposed by the perpetrators. I thought to myself, what might these revelations do to both sides of the conflict? Whether taking responsibility on his actions paved the road for the perpetrator healing and the healing of his victims? Is the process that South-Africa went through can give inspiration to Palestinians and Israelis as individuals and as nations?" (Miri Laufer)
"I always supported peace and fought against injustice, still I thought that there are just causes that might justify violence resistance, as fighting the Apartheid regime and the Israeli occupation. Going through the process of making this film and understanding the philosophy of the TRC that there is no difference between just causes and wrong ones, I acknowledged that in order to get reconciliation we must put aside the concept of just cause. Because taking human lives is taking human lives and there is no difference between bereaved mothers, whether Israeli, Palestinian, black or white. So now I can say, that I support non-violence and against any sort of violence conducted by state or individual for any reason." (Erez Laufer)
It has been inspiring to watch Miri and Erez take a South African archive of the Truth Commission and bring it to life in a way that is more relevant today than it was 15 years ago. Archive has a magical way of becoming profound and fresh when handled by skilled filmmakers. Through the making of this film I have learnt more about the significance of the healing process in my country and the importance of resolving the Palestinian and Israeli conflict. I continue to be buoyed by the humanity, bravery and creativity of Erez and Miri Laufer. (Steven Markovitz)