Video: How Hummus Can Bridge a Regional Divide

Last night, Asia Society hosted a screening of Hummus! The Movie, a film that explores the impact that the classic Middle Eastern chickpea dish has on interpersonal relations in the region and around the world.

Following the screening, Asia Society’s Executive Vice President Tom Nagorski sat down for a special Q&A session with the film’s producers, Mitch Julius, co-CEO of Canyon Partners, LLC.; Raphael Shore, founder and CEO of Jerusalem University and the Clarion Project; and Chloé Valdary, director of partnerships and outreach at Jerusalem University; and discussed why they felt the movie needed to be made.

“My grandfather took me to the movies all the time. So movies were the thing,” Julius said. “You have to know your story, whether it’s your family story, the story of others, I think it gives you a sense of empathy and connectedness.”

“This is the human story that people are fascinated by [not just stories of conflict]. We continue, despite the odds being stacked, to know that this is the story people want to hear about, a new story, a fresh story — an inspiring story,” Shore added.

The film is a look at the rich history of the so-called superfood, audiences are left with a deeper message by the end. “I think there is a larger message here … I think that people can connect over the things we engage with in our everyday lives,” Valdary said. “Fundamentally we are all human, and these are things that connect us and allow us to have conversations with each other, so this film can be a catalyst and resource to bring different people together.”

Watch the full discussion in the video above.

Read our interview with Raphael Shore here