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‘David’ brings tensions among cultures to light
by Savannah Weeks
January 16, 2013 11:41 AM | 2319 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Joel Fendelman was inspired to create a film about the tension between the Jewish and Muslim cultures after questioning his identity as a Jewish man and what that means.

“My inspiration for the film came from a couple of things,” said Fendelman after the “David” screening at Congregation Or Haddash at the Weber School in Sandy Springs Jan. 9. “What does being Jewish mean and what does it mean to be a Muslim in New York post 9/11?”

Fendelman found himself questioning the motives of a Middle Eastern man on the subway one day about four years before deciding to write the 2011 movie.

“I couldn’t believe I was thinking that,” he said. “I considered myself to be this liberal Jewish man, and here I was wondering if this guy had a bomb in his bag.”

“David” follows a young Muslim boy named Daud in the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn. In a twist of fate, the son of a strictly religious father ends up attending an orthodox school in the neighboring Jewish neighborhood.

Daud befriends the boys in the school and becomes known as David.

A coming-of-age story, “David” draws the viewer in and examines the differences, but also striking similarities between the two cultures.

To gain an understanding of the Muslim culture, Fendelman volunteered for a year and a half at a Muslim community center, which is where he met the young actor who played Daud.

The other main character, Yoav, a Jewish boy, was also a young boy with no previous acting experience who lives in the Jewish neighborhood featured in the film.

The film was well received at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival last year.

“David” is currently being shown at screenings across the country, but is currently only available for educational purchase.

When asked what the message of the film is, Fendelman responded, “I’d offer the questions I asked myself going into the film. What separates us and what brings us together?”

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