Knowledge is the Beginning

Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra

Knowledge is the Beginning tells the story of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra where Arab and Jewish young people are sitting side by side. It illustrates how prejudices are surmounted during the rehearsals, the concerts and the laid-back celebrations afterward. It also demonstrates what problems crop up and how music can help people of different views find common ground. The film traces the orchestra's complete history from 1999 until today.

Faced with myriad organizational and political hurdles, this orchestra overcame the impossible to play in Palestine and the Live-Concert from Ramallah attracted world wide attention far beyond the musical community. For the founder of the ensemble, Daniel Barenboim, the orchestra is a metaphor for what could be achieved in the Middle East.

In the press:

Paul Smaczny has accompanied the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra for five years. What has resulted is a must-see cinematic work of art
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 20/08/2005

Paul Smaczny's documentary Knowledge Is The Beginning is definitely a must-see...
Le Monde, 25/08/2006

This is not a simple feel-good story...Rather the film is almost an instruction manual of how much cultural good can be done in the worst of political times. …
The Boston Globe, 04/06/2007

Duration : 01 h 32 min
Production date : 2005
Production : © A production of EuroArts Music International / Barenboim-Said Fundation / ZDF

Comments on Knowledge is the Beginning :