IN THE LAND OF POMEGRANATES – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

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LAND OF POMEGRAATES POSTERSince Jared Kushner still hasn’t fixed the Middle East, perhaps we need to look elsewhere. Like right in the midst of the seemingly intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict itself. Oscar-nominated documentarian Hava Kohav Beller’s In the Land of Pomegranates takes us inside an extraordinary program called “Vacation from War,” which each year brings groups of young Israelis and Palestinians together in Germany to discuss their perspectives on the strife they live with, to see if there’s any common ground to be found. And it’s difficult, in fact, to feel that there might be: despite clear efforts to remain calm when hashing out hugely contentious topics, from terrorism to whose side God is on, all the passion and conviction of the participants seems to end up dedicated to clinging to the preconceptions they arrived with. Continue reading…

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MaryAnn Johanson

MaryAnn Johanson is a freelance writer on film, TV, DVD, and pop culture from New York City and now based in London. She is the webmaster and sole critic at, which debuted in 1997 and is now one of the most popular, most respected, and longest-running movie-related sites on the Internet. Her film reviews also appear in a variety of alternative-weekly newspapers across the U.S. Johanson is one of only a few film critics who is a member of The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (the Webby organization), an invitation-only, 500-member body of leading Web experts, business figures, luminaries, visionaries and creative celebrities. She is also a member of the Online Film Critics Society. She has appeared as a cultural commentator on BBC Radio, LBC-London, and on local radio programs across North America, and she served as a judge at the first Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Film Festival at the 2003 I-Con, the largest SF convention on the East Coast. She is the author of The Totally Geeky Guide to The Princess Bride, and is an award-winning screenwriter. Read Johanson's recent articles below. For her archive, type "MaryAnn Johanson" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).