2013, 99 minutes, color, Germany/Israel/United Kingdom
Audience Award: World Cinema: Documentary
The Green Prince is such an extraordinary story that one is tempted to think it is fiction, if only somebody had the audacity to invent it.
A Palestinian in Ramallah, Mosab Hassan Yousef grows up angry and ready to fight Israel. Arrested for smuggling guns at the age of 17, he’s interrogated by the Shin Bet, Israel’s security service, and sent to prison. But shocked by Hamas’s ruthless tactics in the prison and the organization’s escalating campaign of suicide bombings outside, Mosab agrees to spy for Israel. For him, there is no greater shame. For his Shin Bet handler, Gonen, there is no greater prize: “operating” the oldest son of a founding member of Hamas.
Based on Yousef’s memoir, Son of Hamas, The Green Prince is a story of two men, spy and handler, whom history insists must be adversaries. That they could reach a point of trust or friendship seems absurd. Embroidering a tangled web of intrigue, terror, and betrayal, Nadav Schirman builds superb tension throughout a surprisingly emotional journey. Ultimately, The Green Prince is less about political struggle than personal coming-to-terms with responsibility and moral duty.
Director: Nadav Schirman
Producers: Nadav Schirman, John Battsek, Simon Chinn
Co-producers: Omri Uzrad, Britta Meyermann
Editors: Joelle Alexis, Sanjeev Hathiramani
Executive Producers: Thomas Weymar, Sheryl Crown, Maggie Monteith