In 2008 two best friends found themselves trapped in one of the most dangerous places on earth – the only western journalists in the Gaza Strip on what was supposed to be a 24-hour assignment. The War Around Us captures the collision of veteran war correspondent and one of TIME’s most 100 influential people, Ayman Mohyeldin, with rookie reporter Sherine Tadros. As missiles shower the city and unspeakable atrocities emerge, the pair is torn by fierce professional rivalry, private terror and grim humor – with no way out and the whole world watching.
Before leaving to settle abroad, Ahmad accepts one last job. He must audition actors for the new National Palestinian Theatre. On the road with interviewer Bissan and her cameraman Loumir, Ahmad goes in search of talent in the numerous refugee camps of Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Hopefully for the last time, Ahmad experiences the insurmountable difficulties of life in Palestine: harassing searches at check points and borders, barricades, constant tension. He realizes the destiny of all waiting refugees is much the same as his own. He ends up guiding the auditioning actors into dramatizing what best embodies their destiny. But with the chance to catch his plane at risk, Ahmad could see the opportunity for his long-awaited exile slip away
We live at a moment in time when the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, now more than a century old, continues to be of overwhelming international political and societal importance. From its inception, that conflict has also, of course, had powerful and deeply troubling consequences for Israelis and Palestinians themselves. The story at its most basic level is one that involves two peoples struggling for national recognition and expression in a small but richly significant piece of land. The tragedy of this history, as both the Israeli novelist, Amos Oz, and the Palestinian scholar, Sari Nusseibeh, have each pointed out, stems from a conflict between the rights of two peoples with equal and legitimate aspirations to nationhood and self-expression in a single small territory to which they can both lay claim.
The drama, the story of three childhood friends and a young woman who are torn apart in their fight for freedom, is billed as the first fully-financed film to come out of the Palestinian cinema industry.