#CougsatSundance: ‘The Green Prince’

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An extraordinary story about two men, a spy and his handler, who overcome all odds to help one another, was told in the film “The Green Prince” at Sundance this year.

The temple theatre at Sundance, Park City where 'The green prince' was previewed.
The temple theatre at Sundance, Park City, where “The Green Prince” was previewed. (Photo by Elliott Miller)

Based on Mosab Hassan Yousef’s memoir “Son of Hamas,” “The Green Prince” tells the story of the main character, Yousef, reaching a point of friendship and trust with his handler, Gonan. The film shows the emotional journey of Yousef as he struggles to live between the two worlds of the Palestinian people and the Israelis.

Director Nadav Schirman said after talking to Yousef and Gonan, he felt a rare hope that is not usually prevalent in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

“I realized how little we know about Hamas,” Shirman said. “After talking to them I felt hope. That’s not something I feel everyday; it was special.”

Schirman went on to say the day he met Yousef was the same day Osama bin Laden was killed.

“He was so happy that he went out into the city and celebrated with the people,” Schirman said. “The transformation in him was so great that I just knew people had to see this story.”

When asked how he developed such a strong relationship with Yousef Gonan, he said it was all about trust.

“Mosab and I came from two completely different worlds,” he said. “We had to make a change and try.”

The conflict, although a complicated one, is not one that should be thought of without hope, according to Schirman.

“I saw this story of two men whose trust engendered their relationship,” Schirman said. “If we are to make peace in conflict we need to be able to take that leap of faith in doing what is right.”

“The Green Prince” will be showing worldwide in the spring.

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