AMEER GOT HIS GUN

בני דודים לנשק / BNEI DODIM LANESHEK

By Naomi LEVARI

BLACK SHEEP FILM PRODUCTIONS LTD. - as PROD

Documentary - Completed 2011


    • Year of production
    • 2011
    • Genres
    • Documentary
    • Countries
    • ISRAEL
    • Languages
    • HEBREW, ARABIC
    • Budget
    • 0 - 0.3 M$
    • Duration
    • 58 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Naomi LEVARI
    • Writer(s)
    • Naomi LEVARI, Saar YOGEV
    • Producer(s)
    • Saar YOGEV (Black Sheep Film Productions)
    • Synopsis
    • Ameer, a young Palestinian, Israeli, Moslem Arab volunteers to join the Israeli Defense Forces with the innocent belief that his induction will turn him into an equal citizen. Drawing fire from Jewish and Palestinian societies, he faces fundamental identity questions, reaching their climax when he finds himself fighting his own people in the battlefield.
      Ameer Abu Ria is about to go to the army. His father expects him to continue the family tradition and enlist in the IDF, as his grandfather, father, and uncles have done.
      As opposed to the majority of 18 year old boys in Israel, for whom army service is mandatory, Ameer is exempt from military service under the assumption that his enlistment might endanger Israel’s security. That is because Ameer, an Israeli citizen, is a Moslem Palestinian Arab. And yet, Ameer has decided to volunteer.
      The fact that his home town, Sakhnin, is a place known for deadly clashes between discriminated Arab citizens and Israel’s armed forces – doesn’t make his life any easier. He is considered an enemy, a fifth columnist in the eyes of Israeli Jews, and a traitor of the worst kind in the eyes of Arab citizens; the kind who turns against his own brothers.
      Ameer is going to the army with mixed feelings. His father's arguments about civic duty and equality sound logical, but reality isn’t that reasonable. Ameer and his siblings are isolated in Sakhnin. Ameer has lost his childhood friends and the father of the girl that he loves forbids them to see each other. Even his veteran uncles now regret their military service and warn their sons against volunteering.
      “Ameer Got His Gun” will follow Ameer's last months as a civilian, going through the preparations before induction, and during the first months of his military service.
      We will get acquainted with his divided family, witness the tension of his father's expectations of him, meet his veteran uncles, spend time with his sisters who are connected to their Palestinian identity and with his mother who just wants to keep Ameer home and safe. Ameer will carry into the army the conflicts from his town, from his family and from within.
      In the army, Ameer is expected to deal with suspicious soldiers, with loneliness, with cultural gaps, with the dilemma whether to take off his uniform before entering his home town, and of course with the possibility of confronting his Palestinian brethren in the battle field.
      “Ameer Got His Gun” tells the personal story of a naïve kid trying to belong. But this story reflects beyond Ameer's individual experience. Ameer's story embodies the Israeli Palestinians' attempts to belong to the Israeli society but not at the price of relinquishing their native identity.
      Alone and isolated, Ameer is setting on a tough voyage to civic and self definition, while carefully navigating the thin line between Jewish and Arab societies. What price will Ameer have to pay in order to belong to a state that doesn’t consider him a trustworthy citizen?
    • Partners & financing
    • "Reshet" Channel 2, Israel
      "YES" Docu, Israel
      Makor Film Fund, Israel
      Gesher Multicultural Film Fund
      Other Israel Film Festival, NY
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