Ibrahim is an 11-year-old Palestinian Arab boy living in East Jerusalem. We follow him on his way home from school as he passes through several distinct neighbourhoods—Orthodox Jewish, secular Jewish and an Arab neighbourhood where Palestinians wear traditional dress. Ibrahim’s life blends the modern with the traditional. He plays soccer and Nintendo and is at home with the older ways of his grandfather in Galilee and his nanny in the Old City of Jerusalem.
This short documentary introduces us to 10-year-old Yehuda, a radiant example of the Hasidic belief in the joy of prayer. Living with his parents and 10 brothers and sisters in West Jerusalem, Yehuda brings old customs and traditions to life as he prepares to celebrate the Sukkot festival.
This short documentary tells the story of 13-year-old Gesho, one of the 14,000 Ethiopian Jews who left Northeast Africa for a new life in Israel during a massive refugee effort initiated by the Israeli government in 1991. In Ethiopia, he and his family lived without running water or electricity, and Gesho had to drop out of school in grade 6 to help his father. Now his family lives in a trailer equipped with basic conveniences in a temporary community for new immigrants on the outskirts of Jerusalem.
This short documentary presents a portrait of Neveen, a 12-year-old Palestinian girl who lives in the Shufat refugee camp on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Neveen gives us a tour of her typical day: helping her mother with chores, attending school, learning English with her aunt. Throughout, Neveen discusses her family history and her faith; her classmates engage in a lively discussion about the history of Israeli-Palestinian relations and what they think the future holds for all people in the region.
This short documentary follows 10-year-old Tamar, a resident of Jerusalem, as she recounts the experiences of her daily life in Israel. She practices her baritone tuba and attends school, the local market, and a religious youth camp. She welcomes cousins who have emigrated from Russia, and expresses her desire for peace between Jews and Arabs.
This short documentary is a portrait of 9-year-old Yacoub, a Palestinian who lives in the Christian quarter of Jerusalem. He studies English and French at school, and enjoys shopping at outdoor markets and helping at his uncle's falafel shop. He'd like to be free to go out and play with his friends without his parents worrying about his safety. As we accompany him in his daily activities, we see how his life is affected by the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
This short documentary, part of the Children of Jerusalem series, profiles 11-year-old Russian immigrant Asya as she and her family get accustomed to life in Jerusalem. From issues of cultural, political and religious diversity to the simple act of making new friends, this portrait of Asya is indicative of life for many ethnic Jewish immigrants to Jerusalem.
Raised in a refugee camp in the West Bank while her mother was in prison, Walaa dreams of becoming a policewoman in the Palestinian Security Forces (PSF). Despite discouragement from her family, even her beloved brother Mohammed, Walaa applies and gets in. But her own rebellious behaviour and complicated relationship with her mother are challenging, as are the circumstances under which she lives.
Following Walaa from 15-21, with an intimate POV, What Walaa Wants is the compelling story of a defiant young girl navigating formidable obstacles, learning which rules to break and follow, and disproving the negative predictions from her surroundings and the world at large.
Monika Delmos's documentary captures a year in the life of two teenage refugees, Joyce and Sallieu, who have left their own countries to make a new life in Ontario. Joyce, 17, left the Democratic Republic of Congo to avoid being forced into prostitution by her family. Sallieu, 16, had witnessed the murder of his mother as a young boy in wartorn Sierra Leone.
Delmos follows them as they bear the normal pressures of being a teenager while simultaneously undergoing the refugee application process. She shows how the guidance and support of a handful of people make a real difference in the day-to-day lives of these children.
This documentary recounts filmmaker Pierre Sidaoui’s immigration journey from the small Lebanese town of Abey to Montreal, the city he now calls home. Sidaoui had a carefree childhood, but civil war forced him and his family to flee Lebanon in 1982, the first in a series of moves that would ultimately separate him from his parents, brother and sisters. Two decades later, Sidaoui pauses to reflect. His precious family photos, carefully kept in a shoebox, bring forth a flood of memories - of family, landscapes, music and war. A touching meditation on the pursuit of happiness and the immigrant experience.
This short animation tells the story of a young boy and his father, both of whom are enlisted to fight in the war. The boy's pride soon turns to fear as the bullets whistle overhead. His father takes his place and is immediately shot and killed. Horrified, the boy understands that war is not a game. Based on article 38 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, this film illustrates the right of children under the age of 15 not to be recruited into the armed forces.
Filmmaker Paul Émile d'Entremont's documentary presents Reema, a lively and sensitive young girl confronted with difficult questions about her identity. After spending the first 16 years of her life with her Canadian mother, Reema re-connects with her Iraqi father by spending 2 months with him in Jordan. On returning home to Nova Scotia, she realizes she will always have a double identity, and that it is both a burden and a treasure.
Ages 10 to 16
Study Guide - Guide 1
Ethics and Religious Culture - Religious Diversity/Heritage
Family Studies/Home Economics - Child Development
Health/Personal Development - Human Growth and Development
Health/Personal Development - Identity
Warning: guns/hunting, mentions of war/violence
Brief “lesson launcher type” activity or a series of inquiry questions with a bit of context: