The Guardian has an article today on No Sharp Objects, a documentary film by Johan Eriksson that follows fifteen 15-year old boys from Gaza—all among the top students in the human rights program in UNRWA schools—as they are taken to New York for the first time. As the UNRWA press release on the film notes:
Most had never been outside Gaza before. They had lived through the war and felt the consequences of isolation all their lives, seeing homes destroyed, and living with death and deprivation. One of the boys’ fathers was dying of cancer because of lack of access to adequate treatment.
The boys can’t believe their eyes at the hotels, aeroplanes and highways they encounter during their road trip.
In Washington they confronted congressmen and homeless people in the same unassuming way. Seeing snow for the first time was as exciting as meeting the dignitaries and seeing the Washington monuments. They left members of the Security Council at a loss as to how to react to their bear hugs.
Then, two days after seeing the lights of Times Square, they heard the iron gate at the border between Israel and Gaza close behind them. The next morning they woke up in the devastation of Gaza thinking they had been in a dream….
The Guardian article also includes a video trailer for the film, which recently won the award for Best Film (Human Rights) at the We the Peoples Film Festival in London. (Unfortunately, until someone ports it to YouTube—hint, hint—I can’t directly post the video here.)