Oy Bay!

"My heart is in the east, and I in the uttermost west." — Yehudah Ha-Levi

SF Jewish Film Festival: Between Two Notes, Arabic & Jewish

Posted by challahbackgirl on July 31, 2007

SFJFF in Palo Alto 2007

Last Night I joined fellow theater goers in Palo Alto for the second showing of Between Two Notes playing as part of the SF Jewish Film Festival. While a documentary, it’s subject is classical Arabic music, and that’s what you remember—the music. Playing second fiddle is the history and stories by the musicians and director Florence Strauss. The secret to classical Arabic music (shhh! don’t tell everyone!) is the quarter note.

Laurent Brunet’s cinematography emphasized the music as much as the musicians. First the instrument, slowly panning out to see how it’s played and finally the musician spliced with scenes from the various locations including Cairo, Aleppo, Damascus, Beirut, and Tel Aviv. But despite his beautiful work I felt not too much would be lost if this was a radio program. Perhaps something on Fresh Air on NPR.

One of the co-sponsors for this film (the other being the East Bay’s Jewish Music Festival) is Cinemayaat, the Arab Film Festival, which Peter Stein, SFJFF Executive Director noted that both groups were taking heat for from supporters, but that they feel it’s an important partnership. The audience showed their agreement by their applause. This theme of unity and crossing boundaries carried through the movie or rather the music and musicians. Politics doesn’t enter the picture for any of the musicians interviewed throughout the film. The music was from the heart not the head and the audience felt it.

The final showing of the festival for this film is at Berkeley’s Roda Theater on August 4th.


3 Responses to “SF Jewish Film Festival: Between Two Notes, Arabic & Jewish”

  1. Wendy Cosin said

    I just came from the movie in Berkeley and would like to see the credirs to be able to look for music from some of the performers. any ideas how to do so? The movie doesn’t seem to have a web page,

  2. Wendy,

    I didn’t find a website either. You can see if the film festival organizers have any information. Their e-mail is jewishfilm[at]sfjff.org. If you do find anything out, please share it with the rest of us. Good Luck!

  3. Francis Lionnet said

    You’ll find all the credits you need here:


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