When the Boys Return (2012) 58min · Documentary · 20 November 2012
When the Boys Return is a character-driven film following teenage boys joining a therapy group after being released from Israeli prisons. Brutally separated from their families many months before, they now face the challenge of returning to a life that carried on without them. Mohammad Jamil (15) was released last summer and it was the happiest day of his life, but he can't really get it together and spends his time drifting, fighting with his father, and getting in to trouble with the Israeli soldiers again. He does not want to go back to school, and every week his mother is worried he will be arrested again. Mahran (20) was arrested at 14, and life after prison came to a stand-still. 5 years after the release he never went back to school, he didn't get a job, and spend his nights alone playing computer games, sleeping in the daytime. Hamze (16) wants to get as far away from the refugee camp as possible. But he also know that it may never happen. He takes extra courses to manage to study Hotel Management, but cannot concentrate. He takes out aggression at his little brother, but at night he regrets and goes to hold him while he's sleeping. In the Palestinian areas «everyone» have been to prison. For these boys to tell people, even friends and family, about the images constantly haunting their minds, is not easy. In the therapy sessions they start to open up and tell about their fears, about their nightmares, In the third therapy session, Malik (15) does not come back, the soldiers came to arrest him again 3 nights earlier. The same week, the soldiers interrogate Mohammad Jamil's father. Despite of everything that has happened to them these boys also have dreams for their lives. Mahran wants to become a pilot when the occupation ends, someone else wants to become a lawyer, and another one doctor. The Return is a film about resourceful, young people who despite traumas and interrupted childhoods take up the fight to take control of their future and to be an active part of their society again. - Written by Marion
Director(s): Tone Andersen
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