Past screening

Martyr Street

Directed by: Shelley Saywell
Runtime: 1hr 30min Year: 2006
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Directed by: Shelley Saywell
Runtime: 1hr 30min Year: 2006
Country: Canada, Israel
Last Screened: Thu 23rd Nov 2006

Martyr Street, Hebron, is one of the most hazardous and fractious streets in the West Bank. It is the only site where Jewish settlers live as a minority in the heart of a city in the occupied territories.

Schoolgirls Najilah al-Khatib and Neria Arnon live a few metres away from each other on Martyr Street but they have never met. It is ground zero for the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Najilah is Palestinian and Neria, the daughter of Jewish settlers.

When veteran Director Saywell first met the girls, she was filming her Oscar-nominated film A Child’s Century of War and Martyr Street was a bustling Palestinian market. 5 years later, she returns to follow up on the children to find the market abandoned and the street almost deserted. While the Jewish settlers who have re-occupied homes in the ancient Jewish quarter remain, the Palestinians have fled to escape the constant harassment by settlers and the Israeli Defence Force.

Martyr Street is a painful portrait of the children of both religions and the adults who teach them to hate, and a powerful exploration of the roots of violence on a street named for its dead.