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What Walaa Wants

What Walaa Wants

| 1 h 29 min

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.

  • writer
    Christy Garland
  • director
    Christy Garland
  • participant
    Walaa Khaled Fawzy Tanji
  • producer
    Anne Köhncke
    Matt Code
    Christy Garland
    Justine Pimlott
  • executive producer
    Signe Byrge Sorensen
    Anita Lee
    Waël Kabbani
    Penny Charter
  • editor
    Michael Aaglund
    Graeme Ring
  • original music
    Tom Third
  • cinematography
    Christy Garland
  • sound
    Christy Garland
  • production coordinator
    Ekram Zubaydi
    Andrew Martin-Smith
  • translator
    Ekram Zubaydi
    Teyama Alkamli
    Azza Taha
    David Mesiha
    Magdy Omar
    Nada Kawar
    Yasmin Haj
    Zein Adris
    Alaa Aleryani
    Manal Zreik
    Rimah Jabr
    Ashraf Al Zaghal
    Serence Husni
    Kays Mejri
    Keenana Issa
    Younes Samman
    Ali Al Hadi
    Maissa Darraji
  • appearance
    Latifa Abu Draa
    Mohammad Tanji
    Samia Khaled Tanji
    Noaam Tanji
    Laila Khaled Fawzy Tanji
    Shereen Kamal Terawi
    Zaher K. A. Sabbah
    Issa Abu-Allan
    Noor Abu-Romi
    Ahlam Awagneh
    Akram Awwad Fataftah
    Mohammad Hafiz Ghannam
    Haytham Yaseen
    Zohdi Shaqour
    Na'el Abu-Keshek
  • colourist
    Anders V. Christensen
  • sound designer
    Peter Schultz
  • post producer
    Maria Kristensen
  • editing consultant
    Molly Malene Stensgaard
    Janus Billeskov Jansen
  • associate producer
    Lyana Saleh
  • additional cinematography
    Hanna Abu Saada
  • production accountant
    Korthe Barfod
    Jan Arildslund
    Pam Leeuwestein
  • trailer editor
    Waltteri Vanhanen
  • technical assistance
    Waltteri Vanhanen
  • production assistant
    Mauricio Gonzalez-Aranda
    Kasper Kjems
    Jad Mourad
    Haneen Battrawi
    Sofie Bervild Nielsen
    Sia Bergmann
    Mie Mollerup
  • translation coordinator
    Andrew Moir
  • production legal
    Brenda Blake
  • graphic designer
    Maria Jose Cuevas
  • poster design
    Maria Jose Cuevas
  • re-recording mixer
    Peter Schultz
  • sound effects editor
    Mathias Dehn Middelhart
  • post-production supervisor
    Anders V. Christensen
  • online editor
    Martin Munck Schmidt
  • VFX
    Martin Munck Schmidt
  • post assistant
    Sebastian Munk
  • manager studio operations
    Mark Wilson
  • studio administrator
    Leslie Anne Poyntz


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Ages 14 to 18

Civics/Citizenship - Human Rights
Ethics and Religious Culture - Religious Diversity/Heritage
Family Studies/Home Economics - Family Diversity and Challenges
Health/Personal Development - Careers & Education

Warning: Some profanity in Arabic; subtitled in English. Mentions of guns and violence, violent imagery.  

Brief “lesson launcher type” activity or a series of inquiry questions with a bit of context: 

Documentary profiling the life of a teenager living in a refugee camp in Palestine, whose mother was imprisoned for eight years, and how she deals with the situation as well as her own rebellious spirit. Walaa remains steadfast in her goal to join the Palestinian National Authority. To what extent do you think her life experience and circumstances have influenced her to pursue this goal? Research the role of the Palestinian National Authority. What is the history of the group? What are their main goals? Explain how the Israeli and Palestinian law enforcement agencies interact. As Walaa begins her work with the group, how does her job begin to interfere with her family life? How does military presence within a country affect the severity and frequency of encounters with law enforcement? 

What Walaa Wants
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