THE WISDOM OF WATER
FILM (SHORT DOC)
The world’s most sacred river, the Jordan, is now a forgotten no-man’s land: its water weaponized, polluted, and exhuasted. It is time to speak out.
Climate change is drying up the Middle East. Now, unexpected cooperation between Jordanians, Palestinians, and Israelis explores how water, so weaponized in the past, could bridge the divide to peace in the future.
In pre-history, the ancient deities of the middle east held freshwater to be sacred. What would the spirit of the Jordan River say about the state of its once free flowing waters? How would it explain the human actions that dammed, divided, littered and finally dried it completely? After seeing humans arrive here for the first time, the establishment of Abrahamic religions, and the rise and fall of empires, what would it ask us to do, in order to restore the river and live peacefully and sustainably together?
The journey starts with an aerial view; a female voice narrates the Jordan River’s story. She describes an historic paradise into which humans arrived and lived in harmony with nature. From before biblical times humans had a close bond with this place: its religious and historical significance paints a utopian vision of the Jordan. But not for long. The river was soon to become the bitterly disputed boundary between nations.
Today the river is challenged by a changing climate, with increasing desertification and water scarcity. Paradise is fast drying into an inhospitable desert.
Now Jordanian, Palestinian and Israeli environmentalists travel along the river valley to meet local farmers from all sides of the borders. The impact of climate change is witnessed through the voices of three farmers who live along the river’s banks. They testify that this summer was longer than usual. And the harvest? Extremely limited for all.
On the banks of the river itself, the environmentalists touch water once famed for its power of baptism. They are not alone. A group of activists are here to make the statement that the river may have been a reason for conflict in the past, but now it can be used to bring the peoples of the Middle East together in peace. Conserving the water of the Jordan can be a symbol of hope for the world.
Director: Roy Kimhi | Producer: Andy Byatt
Co-production: One Atmosphere, Amberjack Films Ltd.
Collaborators: EcoPeace Middle East