The Green Prince
Wednesday 15th October 9.00pm- Curzon Mayfair
Friday 17th October, 6.30pm – Curzon Soho
Nadav Schirman’s documentary about the son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef (Palestinian Islamic Organization co-founder) and his decision to work as a spy for his father’s enemy via Israeli Security Agency Shinbet is more than just about documenting events; it also encompasses moral codes that can both be used to prevent war and for the average civilian to learn by in everyday ventures.
After repeatedly witnessing the capture of his father by Israeli authorities, family-orientated Mosab seeks vengeance and answers, but when he is suspected by Shinbet of buying armour with a violent purpose, he is kidnapped and given an ultimatum. They ask him to become a spy for Israel inside Hamas, and bargain that this will end his torturous solitary confinement. Mosab makes a decision that will affect his entire life, shape him as a person and threaten his very existence.
The documentary is glued together in an unbiased manner by two rational interviews. One is from the spy Mosab Hassan, presented as a likable, genuine character with fragility and empathy, and a stubborn belief in goodness. The other interview is from Gonen Ben-Itzhak, the handler from Shin Bet who for ten years was responsible for organising Mosab’s contribution in their mission to prevent terrorism.
Nadav Schirman tells the story through a combination of real-life, hand-held footage and TV reports, as well as re-enactments that illustrate the perspective of characters’ actions. Surveillance cameras are also a strong addition to show the constant suspicion that Mosab is tortured with.
This is a fresh, new perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and a unique story that needs to be retold. For the less politically motivated, this documentary may grow tiresome, but if you stick to the cause like Mosab did, it is rewarding: audiences not only learn the complete story of a rare confessed spy, but also about the power of brotherhood between two honest men fighting for a good cause. As Mosab states in the documentary: “A bond between us that is much stronger than brothers or blood is the band of truth.”
Matt Taylor Hobbs
The Green Prince is released nationwide on 5th December 2014.
For further information about the BFI London Film Festival visit here.
Read more reviews from the festival here.
Watch the trailer for The Green Prince here: