Journalists & Media, Cinema: Saving the children of your enemy: The movie "The Heart of Jenin" (2008)

Posted in Best practices | 12-Feb-13

On November 5th, 2005, in the Palestinian refugee camp of Jenin, 12-year-old Ahmed Khatib was severely injured in the head by an Israeli soldier and died shortly afterward in the hospital. He had had a toy gun in his hand which the soldier has mistaken for a real gun. His father Ismael, who himself had sat in Israeli prisons as a Palestinian activist, donated the organs of his son for children in Israel - the children of his enemies. He says, "My human action irritated the Israelis. That is something much bigger than to kill a soldier". Menuha lives with the liver of the young Palestinian. She is the daughter of an Orthodox Jewish family who thanked father Ismael for his unique gesture of reconciliation. The Israeli Druse girl Sameh lives with the heart of the killed boy, and also the Israeli Bedouin boy Mohammed lives, because Ahmed had to die.

The German documentary maker Marcus Vetter and the Israeli Leion Geller filmed this moving story and thereby recorded a convincing template in the media for a best practice for respect and reconciliation. The film is a great deal more powerful and illuminative than the usual news clips in the evening news about Palestinians throwing rocks or shooting Israeli soldiers, and proves how "soft" human issues of tolerance and respect can open our hearts. Passages from the film "The Heart of Jenin" from the year 2008 can be seen here. Further information can be found here.

"The Heart of Jenin" - a 90 minutes movie by Eikon Film (Berlin) in cooperation with French-German TV channel arte and German Suedwestfunk (Stuttgart) by Marcus Vetter and Leon Geller, premiere in the film festivals Leipzig, Warsaw,Jerusalem,Toronto, Locarno in 2008.