Wrestling Jerusalem

Film Info
Director(s):Dylan Kussman
Country:United States
Year of Production:2016
Running Time:93 min.
Big Nights
Premiere Status:World
Religion & Spirituality
Israelis & Arabs


Sponsored by Anne Germanacos.

“It’s complicated.” From that honest, ironic, understated opening line of Wrestling Jerusalem through its hopeful conclusion, Aaron Davidman takes us on a whirlwind journey that captures the competing narratives swirling around the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Bay Area local Davidman embodies 17 characters whose stories reflect multiple perspectives. It’s easy to forget that you are watching one man as he moves deftly from male to female, Palestinian to Israeli, American to European. The touchstone in these shifting voices is the character Aaron, an American Jew whose desire to understand and empathize makes him an excellent tour guide. Originally a play written and performed by Davidman, Wrestling Jerusalem garnered excellent reviews and sold-out performances. Deftly directed by Dylan Kussman, the film is masterfully shot, as scenes switch seamlessly from a backstage dressing room, a live performance filmed in San Francisco and the stark evocative expanse of the desert. A simple backdrop and handful of props are all Davidman needs to conjure cafes, buses and settlements as well as the stories they contain. Regardless of your views, you will find them in this work. But, as you let the film unfold, you will recognize the humanity in each character and leave the theater much richer for the experience. Complicated? Definitely. Captivating and unforgettable? Without a doubt.  —Stephanie Rapp

Writer/Actor Aaron Davidman in person in San Francisco, Berkeley and Palo Alto