The Oslo Diaries

Institute History

  • 2018 Sundance Film Festival

Description

In 1992, with Israeli-Palestinian relations at a low and official communication suspended, an unlikely group of negotiators—two Israeli professors and three PLO members—met secretly in Norway. To these unsanctioned meetings, the bitter enemies brought fiercely held convictions: the Palestinians saw occupiers, the Israelis saw terrorists, and both saw a history of failed negotiations. But united in the serious desire for peace, they continued through disheartening setbacks, escalating violence, and fraught government politics, ultimately reaching an accord few thought possible.

A comprehensive, dramatic account of the negotiations and their intricate context, The Oslo Diaries recounts a geopolitical story, but its narrative voice is personal and philosophical. Articulated through the participants’ diaries and incorporating unseen archival footage, it offers a broadly resonant portrait of diplomacy, the delicate nature of peace, and individuals who, sitting in fundamental opposition, nonetheless found common ground and, in some cases, came to regard their counterparts as friends. With politics ultimately dooming the accord, one negotiator wondered if Oslo was a story of triumph or defeat before observing that the story’s end remains unwritten.

— J.N.

Screening Details

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