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Disturbing the Peace

In a world torn by conflict--in a place where the idea of peace has been abandoned--an energy of determined optimism emerges. When someone is willing to disturb the status quo and stand for the dream of a free and secure world, who will stand with them?

DISTURBING THE PEACE is a story of the human potential unleashed when we stop participating in a story that no longer serves us and, with the power of our convictions, take action to create new possibilities. DISTURBING THE PEACE follows former enemy combatants--Israeli soldiers from elite units and Palestinian fighters, many of whom served years in prison--who have joined together to challenge the status quo and say 'enough.'

The film reveals their transformational journeys from soldiers committed to armed battle to nonviolent peace activists, leading to the creation of Combatants for Peace. While based in the Middle East, DISTURBING THE PEACE evokes universal themes relevant to us all and inspires us to become active participants in the creation of our world.

'A tremendous achievement - a stirring and profound film that chronicles the noble efforts of Israelis and Palestinians to realize their common humanity, to break the horrendous cycle of violence and move toward peace. We, people of every nationality, need to see it, think about the individuals who expose themselves to us, and be drawn into the indispensable process of wrestling with our own vengefulness in order to transcend our lesser selves.' Todd Gitlin, Professor of Journalism and Sociology, Columbia University

'Their stories are compelling - and persuasive...The transformations they describe are less like lightning bolts and more like dawning epiphanies.' Andy Webster, The New York Times - *Critics' Pick*

'A deeply-moving, powerful film with an inspiring message...The film offers us a glimmer of hope at time when the prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace look so bleak. This is essential viewing for educators, activists, and anyone concerned about this tragic conflict.' Dov Waxman, Professor of Political Science, International Affairs, and Israel Studies, Co-Director of Middle East Center, Northeastern University, Author, Trouble in the Tribe: The American Jewish Conflict over Israel

'The film is a space for listening, for trying to understand.' Diana Clarke, The Village Voice

'A very powerful film, especially those first-person accounts by former Israeli soldiers of the moment when they realized they were doing something morally indefensible, despite the propaganda they'd been subjected to. Also very powerful to see how caged the Israeli army is when there are peace demonstrators on both sides - an illuminating moment.' Eve Spangler, Associate Professor of Sociology, Boston College, Author, Understanding Israel/Palestine Race, Nation, and Human Rights in the Conflict

'Vital, absorbing...Inspiring.' Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times

'It sets a high precedent for the fest's new humanitarian award...Not only does it provide proof of previously thought unbelievable tales of peace, but it further humanizes everyone in the conflict.' Nick Allen, Ebertfest 2016, on Disturbing the Peace winning First Ebert Humanitarian Award

'A moving documentary...potent and earnest.' Chris Barsanti, Film Journal International

'Disturbing the Peace is a rejoinder to pessimism, delivering a message of hope that lands with some success.' Stephen Mayne, Under the Radar

'Fresh and thoughtful...Essential viewing for anyone wanting to understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a human perspective, but also as a testament to the human capacity to forgive and the need for empathy.' Alan Berry, Critical Movie Critics

'Of the many films I've seen, this is one of the best. It presents both sides without equating them.' David Swanson, Counterpunch

'Offers hope that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict might come to an end in our lifetimes...Packs a powerful message.' Christian Toto, Hollywood in Toto

'The stories told in Disturbing the Peace are personal and hit you in both heart and mind.' Debra Bresnan, Hudson Valley One

'A paean to nonviolent civil resistance...It should make people all along the spectrum from right to left uncomfortable...An important film.' Aryeh Cohen, Jew School

'Unique and poignant...Emphasizes the power of embracing peace and reconciliation.' David J. Fowlie, Keeping It Reel

'Disturbing the Peace is the kind of movie we need at this moment.' Kenji Fujishima, Paste Magazine

'Transcends borders, races, religion, and any other labels that are used to divide and conquer...Inspiring.' Bradley Smith, Red Carpet Crash

'Reminds me that there are many conflicts happening the world and even in the darkest of circumstances, there is hope.' Melissa Hanson, Reel News Daily

'[A] substantive documentary about the mighty power of empathy, compassion, forgiveness, and nonviolence.' Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice


Main credits

Apkon, Stephen (film producer)
Apkon, Stephen (film director)
Hale, Marcina (film producer)
Young, Andrew (film director)
Young, Andrew (director of photography)
Caruso, Rocco (film producer)
Derdikman, Ori (editor of moving image work)
Leyh, Blake (composer)

Other credits

Produced by Stephen Apkon, Marcina Hale; directed by Stephen Apkon, Andrew Young; consulting producer, Rocco Caruso; director of photography, Andrew Young; editor, Ori Derdikman; original score, Blake Leyh.

Docuseek2 subjects

Distributor subjects

Ethnic Studies
International Studies
Jewish Studies
Middle Eastern Studies
Political Science
Social Change
Social Movements
War and Peace


people born into conflict, sworn enemies, Palestinians and Israelis, unleashing human potential, creating new possibilities, transformational journeys, soldiers to peace activists, Combatants for Peace, Middle East, active participants, Beit Lahiya, Abbas, Zionists, Islamic Jihad, second Intifada, Shin Bet, Israeli occupation, Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, Sharon, Zionism, 1948 Al-Qbeibah, Al-Deisha refugee camp, Yom Mippur War, Golan Heights, growing up in a kibbutz, Silwan, Kiriyat Shmoneh, Yitzak Rabin, Sabra and Shatila, Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, Sayeret Matkal, Occupied Territories, suicide bomber, Gaza, The Revolutionary University, Beit Jala, Theater of the Oppressed, Saeb Erekat, Tzipi Livni, Arafat, Separation Wall, John Kerry, Netanyahu, Operation Cast Lead; "Disturbing the Peace"; Bullfrog Films