Home Page IDF Competition Skies Above Hebron
Skies Above Hebron
  • Country/Area of ProductionNetherlands
  • Language of DialogueArabic,Hebrew
  • Runtime55min
  • DirectorEsther Hertog, Paul King
  • Type of WorkShort Documentary
  • ProducerJanneke Doolaard

Brothers Amer & Anas simply love pigeons and spend days catching them on their roof in the Palestinian old city of Hebron. The birds fly freely, but the brothers are continuously watched by Israeli settlers and soldiers from the rooftop posts. The more thoughtful Marwaan lives on a street opposite a large Israeli settlement. To get home he daily faces soldiers at checkpoints. Marwaan resists human right violations in his neighborhood by filming the conflicts. Can the boys stay out of trouble? A coming of age film depicting these boys’ challenges and hopes during five years of filming in Hebron.

Filmed during 5 years ‘Skies Above Hebron’ documents three Palestinian boys, Amer (16), Anas (12) and Marwaan (16) growing up in the ancient city center of this West bank city. Hebron is the only major Palestinian city with a growing Jewish settlement built in its heart. Here 800 settlers live amongst Israeli soldiers who ‘protect’ them from 200.000 Palestinians. In Hebron’s old city Israeli military law is imposed. Palestinian police are banned, and armed checkpoints obstruct Palestinian traffic.

How do Amer, Anas and Marwaan cope with blocked off streets, abandoned houses, barricaded shops and confrontations with settlers’ eager to move into their houses? How is it to grow up in a place where you’re continuously watched over by soldiers and settlers, knowing that at any moment the army can arrest you? How do they deal with stressed and traumatized parents who are sometimes radicalized themselves?