“Grassroots in Dry Lands”

Documentary Screening & Discussion

Rabbi Ed Elkin, First Narayever Congregation
Ruth Pulznick, MSW RSW
Michal Er-El, MSW RSW


February 29, 2016 – 7PM
First Narayever Congregation
187 Brunswick Avenue, Toronto, M5S 2M4

Eventbrite - Documentary Screening & Discussion: "Grassroots in Dry Lands"

“Grassroots in Dry Lands”

Join us for the screening of Helene Klodawsky’s latest documentary “Grassroots in Dry Lands”. Screening event is jointly organized by IDI GTA and First Narayever Congregation. Refreshments will be served.

Grassroots in Drylands is produced by Informaction Films in co-production with National Film Board of Canada.

THE FILM (Trailer)

Set in Palestine, Israel and Jordan, Grassroots in Dry Lands reveals a unique human-rights-based approach to democratic change taking root in neighbourhoods across the region. This intimate documentary, filmed in radiant warm light in homes, streets and community centres, takes us into the world of social workers who struggle to apply university-taught ideals to realities on the ground. They are building hope through their commitment to social change and their belief that all peoples of the region deserve the same rights.

In observational style, but with in-depth access, the film shows these skilled civil society activists at work, helping people through crises, accompanying them to official meetings, encouraging them to claim their rights, to speak out against violence and to challenge legal, political and religious forces.

Seasoned filmmaker Helene Klodawsky spent five years gaining the trust of her characters and brings her knowledge of the region to bear on the complex issues at hand. She delivers an original, unprecedented perspective on the Middle East. Rather than focus on top-down peace initiatives, the film shows how seeds planted by passionate activists and their armies of community organizers, psychologists, lawyers and volunteers are taking root and producing hope for lasting change.


Helene Klodawsky is a veteran independent filmmaker and a passionate artist. Her poignant films reveal a commitment to both social and political struggles, as well as to her chosen art form. Since her first, awardwinning short, Painted Landscapes of the Times (1986), Helene has directed many independent documentaries exploring subjects as diverse as shopping malls and political murder. Screened and televised around the world, her films have received numerous honours and been extensively reviewed. In 1987, Helene made her groundbreaking film, Shoot and Cry, about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. With Grassroots in Dry Lands, she returns to the Middle East to deliver an unprecedented perspective on the region.