|‘Son of Hamas’ movie wins big at Sundance|
|Written by Jeremy Burns|
|Tuesday, 28 January 2014 04:26 PM EST|
The Green Prince, a feature-length documentary based on Mosab Hassan Yousef’s international best-selling book, Son of Hamas (Tyndale House Publishers), received the Audience Award for World Cinema Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival. Founded by actor Robert Redford, the acclaimed festival was held in Park City, Utah, Jan. 16-26.
Produced and directed by Nadav Schirman and narrated by Yousef, a Palestinian, and Gonen Ben-Itzhak, son of a retired Israel Defense Forces general, the film tells the true story of Yousef, the eldest son of one of the founders of Hamas, who, in addition to converting from Islam to Christianity, worked for a decade as a double agent for Shin Bet, the Israeli secret police.
“Perhaps the most difficult thing about watching the new documentary is feeling that you should not be there, that everyone in the theater should be asked to leave before any more Israeli intelligence secrets are divulged,” said the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
Ron Brackin, who co-wrote Son of Hamas with Yousef, said there is an even bigger story that has not yet found its way to the screen.
“A lot more important than locking up (or blowing up) the bad guys is the amazing relationship between Mosab and Gonen,” Brackin said. “That's what needs to be captured on film. It's a powerful truth that says Palestinians and Israelis can live at peace with one another. It says the so-called 'Palestinian problem' is never going to be resolved by politicians sitting around a table or by walls, military incursions, blockades, or sanctions.”
“As I recall, it was a Jew who gave the world the solution a couple thousand years ago—for Israel and Palestine, Sudan, Bosnia, Rwanda, Armenia, Iraq, Syria, Korea, for every tribe and every family,” Brackin added. “He said, ‘Love your enemies.’ Peace doesn't result from diplomacy or strength. It results from the courage to forgive and the resolve to see one another as people. That's the secret Mosab and Gonen discovered. And their love and respect for one another and commitment to one another are living proof that it works where everything else has failed.”