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Knowledge Is the Beginning

 

 

This is a film that is made great by conductor Daniel Barenboim's musical genius and by his vision of peace for the Middle East. The film is also a tribute to the talents of an exceptional group of Arab and Israeli youngsters. The first two/thirds of the film is inspiring; it provides a genuine antidote for a very troubled and divided world. And, then, near the end of the film, Barenboim's partisan view of the Arab/Israel conflict ruins his worthy effort. During the first part of the film, Barenboim keeps reiterating the fact that he is completely non-political but, in the end, while accepting an award for his efforts, he make a clearly political statement when, in fact, his entire project is made worthwhile by the fact that music is apolitical. Music crosses political divides and has the power to bring people together. It is a shame.