A Hasidic Jewish man approaches a Muslim man on the streets of New York City. It sounds like the opening line to an inappropriate joke, but it’s actually a scene in a campaign put out by Tribeca Film Festival called “See Yourself in Others.” The stunning one-minute short film, which is posted below, features a diverse group of people walking around Manhattan wearing mirrored boxes on their heads to make the point that peacemaking begins when we learn to empathize with “the other.”
I was so impressed by this provocative short that I tracked down the director, Jared Knecht. Still in his twenties, he has already compiled an impressive resume with clients ranging from Redbull to Victoria’s Secret, and Compassion International to Crossway. Knecht’s short film “Skumaskot,” shot on location in Iceland, was a selection at last year’s Cannes Film Festival. (It’s stunning, and you should watch it too.)
Here we discuss the imagery featured in this campaign and why he believes society is failing to foster empathy.