Knowledge is the Beginning

Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra

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Program notes

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.

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