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Martyr Street


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Grade Level: SrH-Adult
Producer: Bishari Films
Closed Captioned: No
Running Time: 90 mins
Country of Origin: Canada
Study Guide: No

Copyright Date: 2006
Available in French: No

Martyr Street, Hebron, the West Bank, has long been known as a flashpoint; it's the only place where Jewish settlers live in the heart of a Palestinian city. In September 2000 Shelley Saywell and her film crew were in the midst of shooting a story on children living there for the documentary “A Child's Century of War.” She had no idea that the intifadah was about to break out – literally – before their eyes. What they found when they returned was a much bigger story – largely hidden from the international media. Nearly impossible to enter without official sanction, Martyr Street had become almost deserted; “cleansed” of most of its Palestinian population. The resulting film, Martyr Street, explores the roots of violence on the street named for its dead. The film features the children as they grow older, but this time itincludes the adults in their lives; the soldiers, the teachers, the fanatics and the fatalists – each claiming huge stakes that are both incompatible and impassioned. But it goes back even further, to the story of Abraham, the patriarch of both the Muslims and Jews, who is buried there. Out of a shared heritage, death seems, at first, their only common ground. Does it have to be? This is the story of Martyr Street.