Harlem International Film Festival (Hi) Hi Wednesdays

Arna’s Children

Juliano Mer Khamis and Danniel Danniel, 2003, 84 min.

Arna's Children is a 2003 Israeli/Dutch documentary directed by Juliano Mer Khamis and Danniel Danniel about a children's theater group in Jenin in the Palestinian territories established by Arna Mer-Khamis, the director's mother, an Israeli Jewish political and human rights activist.The film portrays the lives of Arna Mer-Khamis and the young members of the theater including Ala el-Sabagr, Zakaria Zbeide, Daud Zbeide, Majdi Shadi, Haifa Esteti, Nidal Swetti, Yussef Swetti, Mahmoud Kaneri, Khairia Fakhri and Ashraf Abu-Alheji. The film won "Best Documentary Feature" at the 2004 Tribeca Film Festival. Three of the theater children died in various miltant operations or while peacefully resisting the Israeli army, namely Ala, Nidal, and Ashraf. Yussef committed a suicide attack in Hadera in 2001, murdering four civilians. Two other children, Daud and Zakaria were later imprisoned. The director of the film Juliano Mer Khamis was assassinated in Jenin on 4 April 2011 by masked militants.

Q & A with Reem Khamis-Dakwar and Nancy Leigh (both cousins of Juliano) to follow screening.