The Heart of Jenin

Leon Geller

Germany 2008, 89 min.


Spoken language: Arabic, Hebrew, English

Subtitles: English

Dutch premiere

In November 2005, the twelve-year-old Palestinian boy Ahmed Chatib was shot dead by an Israeli military who mistook his toy gun for a real one. Ahmed’s father, active in the first Intifada and a former inmate of an Israeli prison, decided to donate his son’s organs. Ahmed’s heart now beats in the body of an Orthodox Jewish girl.
In the moving documentary The Heart of Jenin, the parents meet. Just twelve hours after Ahmed Chatib was shot dead at the Jenin refugee camp in the Westbank, his father Ismael took a remarkable step. He decided to donate his son’s organs to six Israeli children. Two years on, four of the six children are still alive, thanks to Ismael’s gesture. Directors Leon Geller and Marcus Vetter follow Ismael through Israel as he visits three of these children. What did the donation mean to the families? The Heart of Jenin not only shows people who managed to overcome their prejudices thanks to this generous action, but also of their difficulties in coming to terms with the knowledge that their child is alive thanks to an Arab organ.



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