Son of Hamas movie wins big at the Sundance Film Festival
By Dan Wooding Founder of ASSIST Ministries
PARK CITY, UTAH (ANS) -- The Green Prince, a feature-length documentary based on the international best seller Son of Hamas, by Mosab Hassan Yousef, with Ron Brackin, received the prestigious Audience Award for World Cinema: Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah yesterday (Sunday, January 26, 2014).
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Produced and directed by Nadav Schirman, and narrated by Mosab Hassan Yousef and Gonen Ben-Itzhak, the film tells the extraordinary true story of the eldest son of one of the founders of Hamas who, in addition to converting from Islam to Christianity, worked for a decade as a double agent for the Shin Bet, the Israeli secret police.
Schirman’s previous films include The Champagne Spy, winner of the Israeli Academy Award for best documentary film.
“Perhaps the most difficult thing about watching the new documentary,” said the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, “is feeling that you should not be there, that everyone in the theater should be asked to leave before any more Israeli intelligence secrets are divulged.”
In an exclusive interview, Ron Brackin, who wrote Son of Hamas and is a regular contributor to the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net), said there is an even bigger story that has not yet found its way to the screen.
“People love the book because people like to believe that people like Jason Bourne really exist,” Brackin said. “We were also able to take a very complex subject and make it a little more understandable.
“But to me, the spy stuff was window dressing. A lot more important than locking up (or blowing up) the bad guys is the amazing relationship between Mosab and Gonen. That’s what needs to be captured on film. It’s a powerful truth that says Palestinians and Israelis can live at peace with one another. It says the so-called ‘Palestinian problem’ is never going to be resolved by politicians sitting around a table or by walls, military incursions, blockades, or sanctions.
(L-R) Nadav Schirman, Gonen Ben Itzhak and Mosab Hassan Yousef at the 2014
Sundance Film Festival. (Photo by AFP)
“As I recall, it was a Jew who gave the world the solution a couple thousand years ago—for Israel and Palestine, Sudan, Bosnia, Rwanda, Armenia, Iraq, Syria, Korea, for every tribe and every family. He said, ‘Love your enemies.’ Peace doesn’t result from diplomacy or strength. It results from the courage to forgive and the resolve to see one another as people. That’s the secret Mosab and Gonen discovered. And their love and respect for one another and commitment to one another are living proof that it works where everything else has failed.”
The Green Prince has secured distribution contracts for the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. Josh Braun of Submarine is representing sales in North America.
Dan Wooding, 73, is an award-winning journalist who who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for 50 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. He is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS) and he hosts the weekly “Front Page Radio” show on the KWVE Radio Network in Southern California and which is also carried throughout the United States and around the world. He is the author of some 45 books, the latest of which is a novel about the life of Jesus through the eyes of his mother called "Mary: My Story from Bethlehem to Calvary". (Click to order)