Alif Productions
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75015 PARIS

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Musicians, soldiers of peace!

a film by Claire ALBY
(52', 2007)

At a time when all hopes for peace remain more than uncertain and more walls are erected both literally and in the minds, a young german conductor, Julien Salemkour, brilliant pianist of Algerian origin based in Berlin, is developing a magnificent project initiated by the Barenboïm-Saïd Foundation.

With his guidance, a group of renowned musicians, all of them brilliant solo artists with European orchestras, put their careers and personal lives on hold for several weeks at a time to go to Ramallah and teach music to Palestinian children.

Most of the children, aged between 6 and 15, live in refugee camps. They all gather in a primary school, the Friends School in the heart of Ramallah, which serves as the headquarters for the project. There, the teachers instruct the children who now form a proper orchestra. Once a year, Daniel Barenboïm himself pays them a visit to dispense his knowledge and follow the evolution of the project.

This first musical NGO has many objectives:

- To allow traumatised Palestinian children to rebuild their lives through the learning and the practice of a musical instrument.
- To bring these young pupils, whose ears are accustomed to oriental melodies, to discover the bases of western music.
- To give western musicians the opportunity to discover other musical worlds based on improvisation.
- To create and establish a symphony orchestra in Ramallah within the next five years.

This film will bear witness to the musicians’ commitment, the hope created by the music brought and taught by these men and women and the expectations they generate in the Palestinian children. Maybe one day, thanks to the regular practice of their instruments, these children will be able to once again lead a normal life, should the opportunity present itself.

“Musicians: soldiers of peace!” is an invitation to reflect upon the transmission of music, the mix of cultures and - as much for the children as for the teachers - a journey of discovery and growth through an encounter with the Other.