Arna's Children


About: 

Arna Mer Khamis was a legendary activist against the Israeli Occupation. Born into a Jewish family, she married a Palestinian Arab and spent her life campaigning for justice and human rights in her homeland. Arna founded an alternative education system for Palestinian children whose lives had been disrupted by Israeli occupation. In the Jenin refugee camp, Arna opened a theatre group where she taught the children to express anger, bitterness and fear through acting and art. The children slowly grew to trust and to love Arna: “She’s like my mother,” says one child. “She helps us. She saved us from the streets.” Arna’s son, Juliano Mer Khamis, was a director at the theater group and filmed his mother and the children rehearsing and performing over a six year period. When Arna died of cancer in 1995, the theater group struggled to continue for another two years but ultimately did not survive.

Five years after Arna’s death, Juliano, now one of the region’s leading actors, returns to the camp to discover what happened to Arna’s children. Shifting back and forth in time, Mer Khamis’s film juxtaposes the sweet-faced young boys with the militants and martyrs they become. Arna’s Children reveals the tragedy and horror of young lives trapped by the circumstances of occupation.

Distributor: ThinkFilm
Director: Juliano Mer Khamis, Danniel Danniel
Writers: Juliano Mer Khamis, Danniel Danniel
Producers: Osnat Trabelsi, Peter van Huystee

Participant MediaAbout Participant Media

Founded in 2004 by Jeff Skoll, Participant Media’s (www.participantmedia.com) content combines the power of a good story well told with opportunities for real world impact and awareness around the most pressing global issues of our time. As an industry content leader, Participant annually produces up to six narrative feature films, five documentary films, three episodic television series, and more than 40 hours of digital short form programming, through its digital subsidiary SoulPancake—all aimed at entertainment that inspires social awareness and engaging audiences to participate in positive social change. Participant’s content and social impact mandate speaks directly to the rise of today’s “conscious consumer,” representing over 2 billion consumers who are compelled to make impactful content a priority focus. Through its worldwide network of traditional and digital distribution, aligned with partnerships with key non-profit and NGO organizations, Participant is positioned uniquely within the industry to engage a rapidly growing audience while bringing global awareness and action to today’s most vital issues.

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