Film

Film

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A To Be and to Have with politicking replacing nose picking, Arna’s Children documents the theater productions at a Jenin school where kids liken their performances to Molotov cocktails. The film’s uncompromising portrayal of youths struggling with the Israeli military presence raises questions about the catch-22 these kids face, choosing between accepting the occupation or violently opposing it. The directors render the children with a Thornton Wilder bluntness—as a boy skirts across the floor meowing, the narrator describes the child as a teenage intifada combatant. Refreshing and depressing, the film never condones the violence that has devastated Jenin for decades but makes it clear how seemingly innocent children become martyrs for a cause.

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