A documentary film that's quietly winning prizes at international film festivals has achieved the filmmaker's aim: to start a conversation about one of the world's most revered and disputed places, Jerusalem's Al-Haram al-Sharif, also known as the Temple Mount.
"One Rock, Three Religions," directed by Isaac Hertz, explores the importance of the Temple Mount to Christians, Jews and Muslims who worship there and lay claim to it.
Featuring interviews with the world's religious and political leaders, including comments from the Pope and the Dalai Lama, the film takes us on a sometimes painful journey that forces audiences to open their hearts and minds. It shows what the legendary mountain means to people around the world as well as to the people of Jerusalem. It also explores and exposes the ramifications the Holy site has on the political conflict in the Middle East, including the way it is used to provoke violence.
The film offers historical, anthropological, and religious insight, but it is also a film about the current situation in Jerusalem and what can be done to bring peace.
Producer Valentina Castellani Quinn said, "Our core message lies in the belief that every side needs to be respectfully heard and this enables the film to reveal its most striking secret, that we share so much more than we allow ourselves to believe."
Following a screening at the US Congress, the filmmakers were presented with an award in recognition of their efforts towards achieving peace in the Middle East and promoting dialogue between countries, ethnicities and religions.
Castellani Quinn said, "There can't be a resolution to the struggle without a mutual recognition of the site's relevance and importance to all sides. A documentary's purpose is to observe, reflect and inspire. After every panel discussion following screenings I come away believing that the time is right for peace."