Prepare a name tag and written notes for your character for the group activity, as follows:
Promises People Circle Group
Purpose of this Simulation (Imaginary yet Real) Activity
The goal of this simulation is for you to voice the different perspectives the film, “Promises,” represents, and also to show the different perspectives and influences within each of the children in the film as he or she reaches adulthood.
Two things we are focusing on when talking about human rights that are in conflict with each other:
• “perspective-taking,” considering different sides of a situation
• showing empathy, even for those with whom you disagree
1. Your PERSON GROUP will develop three voices for your person. Each of you will “play” that voice in the Promises People Circle Group. Pretend your person is now 21 years old.
• PUBLIC VOICE: “What I’m saying to the camera”
• PRIVATE VOICE: “What I’m feeling inside but maybe not saying”
• ANCESTRAL VOICE: “What my parents and grandparents would say”
• SIBLING VOICE: What my younger sibling (bro/sis) would say” (optional)
2. Each of you should be prepared to speak about the following questions:
• What is your most striking memory of being in the film? Did your views change as a result of your participation in the film?
• What did you find it difficult to express in the film? Tell one thing you wish you had said, and explain why you wish you had said it.
• What do you think should be done about the current conflict in Gaza?
• At the end of the film, the filmmaker chose to show newborn Israeli and Palestinian babies. Why? What do you think you will tell your children about the film in 25 years?
Things to consider: By age 18, secular Israelis must serve in the army for three years; some Orthodox Jews like Schlomo are exempt. Also, Mahmoud’s, Faraj’s, and Sanabel’s future opportunities are more limited because of the Israeli occupation and its checkpoints and closures. They cannot travel easily and have less money.
3. The room will be set up as in this diagram. We will go around the room, hearing from one child at a time, listening to all of his or her “voices.” These voices will be able to ask each other questions and a real conversation should emerge.