Sometimes it doesn’t take 90 minutes to tell a good story.
The 12-minute short, Over The Wall, is a case in point. Screening at the Human Rights Film Festival, this award-winning short film in Hebrew with English subtitles is poignant, moving and delightful.
Nathan is a young boy who’s walking home from school past the security fence near the Gaza Strip, when a soccer ball suddenly flies over the wall and lands at his feet.
Trepidatiously, Nathan lightly touches the ball with his feet. Is it a bomb? Will it explode? It doesn’t. He picks it up and throws it back over the wall.
As he continues walking, he hears the ball drop once again behind him. Delighted now, Nathan drops his backpack and throws the ball over the fence again. Shortly thereafter, he hears a young voice shout through a small hole in the wall and peeks through, to see a young Palestinian boy who’s his age.
Over the days, the two ignore everything they’ve been told about each other and develop a friendship, playing games through the hole and communicating with drawings.
But all this changes one day when Nathan’s schoolteacher announces that a terrorist attack is imminent. Can this unexpected friendship survive through the overriding Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
Directed by Ray Zafrani, Over The Wall won best screenplay at the Chandler International Film Festival, the International Independent Film Awards, the London Independent Film Awards and several other festivals.
It screens on Dec. 7, as part of the Short Screening Series at the Human Rights Film Festival, which takes place at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema in Toronto from Dec. 7-10. Now in it’s seventh edition, this year’s festival coincides with the 70th anniversary of international Human Rights Day on Dec. 10.
Visit hrff.ca for more information.