It's not a gun


Extract : (by Ideoproductions)




Ramzi Aburedwan is Palestinian. In 1998, he came to France to study music. Four years later, he founded the association Al Kamandjâti (The violinist). His goal: to create music schools for children of his country.

Since 2003, every summer, Ramzi invites musicians from various backgrounds in the Palestinian territories. There are over thirty and have succeeded to give concerts and lead workshops for young people.

Upon their arrival in the streets of Ramallah in 2003 at the inauguration of the first school in 2005, these young musicians refer to reality to confront a complex region.

"It's not a gun" in music tells the adventures of these young people and asked to relation their utopias.


Reasons for achieving


It's not a gun explores two different worlds: that of the musicians who discover a country torn apart and the children who suffer daily the situation. The film crosses the portraits of these young people who want to change things and do not react the same way and the unexpected difficulties. The filmmakers stay immersed in the world of musicians by querying the nature and strength of their commitment. The intimate relationship they have managed to establish with them by supporting them every step of the project allows them to clearly identify the feelings behind them.
But the film does not just stay on this immersion as Pierre-Nicolas Durant and Helen Cotinier leave to meet children affected by these young activists. To examine the feasibility of the project, it is essential to give voice to these young Palestinians. In talking with them and their families, following their daily lives, observing their drawings, they understand their mindset. They can realize the scope of such action, while showing its weaknesses.
This is not necessarily oppose the world of musicians to childrens but one relative to another.


It´s not a gun leaves much places for music, far from the images that usually characterize the treatment of this region. In violence, the association wants to replace the music. To images of violence, the movie replaces images of life. The conflict has implications on children and the association, it is certainly not the subject but the backstory of the film. The music, like Eastern classical musicians accompanies the journey. It follows the winding roads and unpredictable that truncated country.


The realization of this documentary is guided by two fundamental requirements:

  • The first is the willingness to tell the story of young militants, raising numerous questions raised by their approach. This is not to promote their association complacent but to recount the events that mark its existence.
  • The second requirement is measured in the treatment of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Although it is not the subject of the film, it is obviously present in every moment of life, in every landscape. The situation in the Middle East is so complex that the film avoids any simplification. What are its consequences are visible and not a radical decision on the wrongs of one or the other.


The documentary consists of three distinct parts.

August 2003

The association Al Kamandjâti took his first steps in Palestine. Ten French musicians accompanying him. They discover an amazing country, beautiful scenery and military checkpoints everywhere. Nobody knew then how children will react.
The first workshops the first concert, their smile is needed. Enthusiasm was at its height. Activities are increasing in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
And then, faced with the constant violence of the situation and the plight of Palestinians, musicians settle doubts ...
What can serve music in a country at war? When blood flows, learning an instrument is it possible?

July 2004

This time, twenty musicians from different nationalities who are part of this adventure. The project is gaining momentum. The association moved solidly within Palestinian society. Musicians, more numerous, ongoing workshops and concerts across the Palestinian territories. The project to build a school in Ramallah happen. The association develops a relationship with the Palestinian Authority.

Yet, alongside the enthusiasm of children, some barriers discouraging. The IDF makes access to some cities. Some children can not enjoy musical activities.


The separation wall continues its inexorable progression, which reinforces the ridiculous aspect of this project associations. And the Palestinian society in the most remote places and most religious, sometimes seems incompatible with the music.
On one side there is a project and the utopia of a peaceful future that inspires the other there are the children happy at the time but hard to reach children whose environment of violence remains the same after the passage of the musicians. Among them, Oday , child met in the street in August 2003. He sings. Her voice is impressive. It comes to invite him to France to do a concert.

August 2005

The overall situation is not improving, but Al Kamandjâti continues its activities. Oday, the young Palestinian boy, becomes the symbol of the association.
The first music school opened in Ramallah. Education is free. Utopias can sometimes lead to concrete results


The moviemakers


Pierre-Nicolas Durant and Helena Cotinier

met in Los Angeles while studying broadcasting. Both movie buffs, they are quickly in the documentary a genre suited to the expression and discovery. In 2002, they moved to Paris to pursue their studies.
Their collaboration is born of a desire: to create a documentary about young activists, whatever their cause, the aim being to examine the associations in its commitment and its relation to utopias.
They then meet Rissouli Karim, vice-president of the Al Kamdandjati. They decide to make a film about this initiative and concrete actions that it entails.
The shooting then place on the ground in Palestine.

After spending the month of August 2003, they find it necessary to work over time. The purpose of the association, bringing music to Palestinian children, is so ambitious that it can be treated over the long term. The filmmakers have followed this association until the opening of the first school of music she puts in place.


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