The Freedom theatre was built in memory of Arna Mer-Khamis, a Jewish activist who married a Palestinian and set up a theatre in Jenin, this was destroyed by the Israelis shortly after her death and The Freedom Theatre was established to continue her work.
We were presented with copies of the documentary "Arna's children". "ARNA'S CHILDREN tells the story of a theatre group that was established by Arna Mer Khamis. Arna comes from a Zionist family and in the 1950s married a Palestinian Arab, Saliba Khamis. On the West Bank, she opened an alternative education system for children whose regular life was disrupted by the Israeli occupation. The theatre group that she started engaged children from Jenin, helping them to express their everyday frustrations, anger, bitterness and fear. Arna's son Juliano, director of this film, was also one of the directors of Jenin's theatre. With his camera, he filmed the children during rehearsal periods from 1989 to 1996. Now, he goes back to see what happened to them. Yussef committed a suicide attack in Hadera in 2001, Ashraf was killed in the battle of Jenin, Alla leads a resistance group. Juliano, who today is one of the leading actors in the region, looks back in time in Jenin, trying to understand the choices made by the children he loved and worked with. Eight years ago, the theatre was closed and life became static and paralysed.
Shifting back and forth in time, the film reveals the tragedy and
horror of lives trapped by the circumstances of the Israeli
I cant tell you what a headfuck it is to do shows for the kids of Jenin knowing that the destiny of some will be all too similar to that of Yussef, Ashraf and Alla.
Juliano is coming to London to do screenings and presentations this month:
Tuesday, 18 April- London
House of Commons, the Parliament, film and discussion
A bit more solid are these details:
Wed 26th April
18:30 – Screening of Arna's Children
Venue | Barbican, Cinema 3:
Title | Arna's Children
Director | Juliano Mer-Khamis /2003
Running Time | 84 minutes
Followed by a Q&A with director Juliano Mer-Khamis
Get along to a screening or buy a copy from them.