A film produced by Palestinian high school students at the Quaker-run Ramallah Friends School in the West Bank. A documentary drama, it puts the story of Romeo and Juliet in the modern-day context of life in a Palestinian city, Ramallah.
Work on the project was initiated in January 2006 by Doug Hart, an English Teacher. According to the students, the film is designed to humanise Palestinians and show the side of Palestine that does not always make its way into film. The film is made in the form of dramatic scenes interspersed with documentary pieces, so as to convey the lives of Palestinian teenagers.
Based on the play by Shakespeare, two star-crossed Palestinian lovers grapple with the realities of their everyday lives. Romeo and Juliet meet at a party celebrating the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca. They wed in secret and Romeo does not hear of Juliet’s faked death because a messenger sent to bring him the news is stopped at an Israeli checkpoint.
Students did background research on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Tarek Knorn, one of the students involved as a co-writer and as an actor, playing the role of Mercutio, explained why the students chose to do an adaptation of Shakespeare’s play: “We thought we would use a play that has values and principles that are shared by people all over the world. Issues that people all over the world have to deal with and learn from such as arranged marriages, love at first sight, teenage life, etc. We felt it was a good idea and saw it as our first chance to express ourselves in a manner different from the way the news represents us.”
English dialogue Arabic subtitles
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