1th DMZ Docs(2009)
I AM DOCU
The film takes us back to Hajja Rushda girls school and King Tala boys school, located in Nablus in Palestine’s West Bank, for the final months of academic year, to complete this year-in-the-life observation of two schools. As the end of the year nears, the two schools cope with the usual pressures of exam fever as well as the extraordinary pressures of school life under an occupation. It was a chaotic start to the year, and the final weeks are equally stressful. With exam time upon them, there are all the usual crises of time-tabling, over-crowded classes, over-stretched teachers and plenty of anxious students. Added to this are the extraordinary pressures of school life under occupations, with more student arrests by the Israeli army and severe restrictions on travel for students and teachers alike. It’s an emotional time all round, with tensions, tears and triumphs. It’s also time to look to the future: for the final year students, their school-leaving exams will determine what they will do with the rest of their lives. In this documentary, two schools are struggling to maintain the Palestinian tradition of education in the face of restrictions imposed by the Israeli occupation. It is an attitude summed up by one of the teachers, who describes education as “our weapon to fight the occupation.” How have the students and staff of the two schools balanced the demands of academia and the occupation?
Tom Evans has produced films for the BBC, Channel 4, al-Jazeera English and Teachers’ TV. Recent projects include Battlefront (winner of an EMMY, Nominated for a BAFTA and winner of a BANFF world television award), a major Channel 4 documentary series and a series of short films for the BBC.
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