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An Israeli boy meets a Palestinian boy and discovers the truth isn't what he's told. | Over the Wall

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Nathan is walking to school one day, making his way along the border wall between Israel and the Gaza Strip. Quite unexpectedly, a ball falls from the other side. He kicks it over, only to have it returned. He then meets another boy, Khaled, on the other side.

A friendship soon develops between the two, and they find ways to play and bond with one another, even with the wall between them. But as the realities of where they live come to the fore, their friendship may not quite survive.

Charming, sweet and full of thoughtful simplicity, this short captures how the innocence and delight of childhood friendship can flourish in even the most polarizing of situations. The images and cinematography are pared down, even elegant, and the camerawork graceful and compelling. But these elements of craft never get in the way of telling a humanistic story that focuses on the common ground between people and the essential bonds of connection.

All the events of the narrative are framed through the eyes of children, who have the gift of taking one another as they are. The sequence between Nathan and Khaled as they cultivate a friendship despite the barrier between them is hopeful and heartwarming as it builds their relationship through gifts, gestures and time spent with one another. Despite very little dialogue, it conveys the truth that young children have an innate openness and belief in goodness, and an ability to enjoy themselves despite the turmoil of the world around them.

Though the storytelling's center is Nathan, the film also possesses an almost observational quality, whether it's in the wide shots or how at-large events and ideas are woven into the narrative action and background sound. Slowly the realities of their world creep in, and Nathan finds himself worried about Khaled during a skirmish and sets out to warn him.

The tension here is not played for suspense or thrills, though viewers worry and question Khaled's safety as Nathan does. Instead, the magic and innocence of childhood are ruptured, and Nathan sees an inkling of the deep-seated complexities of the conflict at work.

Young actors Adi Weiss as Nathan and Assi Goffer as Khaled play the friends with guileless charm and lightness, but also capture the flickers of anxiety that come from living amidst a long-running conflict. We root for their friendship, even when we question whether or not their friendship will survive the realities of the wall and all that it represents. Nathan begins to have doubts as well, and when he confronts the cold realities of their situation, he nevertheless goes to help his friends, despite the danger he puts himself in.

Told with great empathy and focused on the experiences of its young characters, "Over the Wall" portrays the belief that humanity has more common ground at its core, and holds fast to the beauty of this idea. But it's also not naive, especially when we arrive at the film's end, which reaches a heartbreaking conclusion all the more poignant for its restraint and simplicity. The final feeling is one of bereft sadness at what potential -- of joy, friendship and understanding -- is lost for Nathan and Khaled, and the world at large.

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An Israeli boy meets a Palestinian boy and discovers the truth isn't what he's told. | Over the Wall

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💬 Comments on the video
Author

Ironically, adults have a lot to learn from children.

Author — Ory Castillo

Author

Children are the most innocent beings, how dare people brain wash them into hating one another 😞
What a cruel world...

Author — Oussama Abdellatif

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"Even a dog is more protected under animal rights, than a child in Palestine by human rights"

Author — Ai Nanie

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The fact that kids this generation is more mature then grown adults 🙄.

Author — Saniya

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Imagine if these two become the leaders of Palestine and Isreal

Author — Umair K

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Have the children sit at the UN. There will be a deal by lunch.

Author — Rick Hyne

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It’s scary how the the little boys instinct was to check if the ball had something in it(like an explosive) instead of thinking it’s a loose ball. No child should think like that

Author — 3h3d

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Hate is taught, not born. There can be peace if everyone were more like these kids.

Author — Food Connoisseur

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"If there is a hell on earth, it is the lives of children in Gaza" - UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

Author — Ai Nanie

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Can we all agree that this is all the United Kingdom’s fault.

Author — Anthony White

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I’m Palestinian and Lebanese and this breaks my heart 🥺🥺🥺🥺

Author — Chahd Moussa

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"How Britain started the Arab-Israeli conflict " Free Documentary History

Author — Edita M

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There is good on both sides. May us Muslims and Jews find peace once more.

Author — the dog tobs

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Adults really r ruining this world with their hatred for eachother
while kids just want to be happy and do what's right.
Let's all come together and change for good, All we want is peace.🙏

Author — Erfan Sheikh

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Such a short movie but with so much meaning. I pray everyday that all these wars will end. No one wants violence, no one wants war. Especially when it involves children.

Author — Layya Isa

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It was shocking and sad to see the kid kick the ball and run back, thinking it could be an explosion. Tragically sad.

Author — Atherton X

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OMG, tears down. When both governments could learn from those children

Author — bal bal nyes nyes channel

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There's always that dad that listens to the news and agrees with it by responding to the TV

Author — cloner one

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This made me cry dammit. I have a Jewish friend and he's actually one of my closest friends (I'm an Arab Muslim) and meeting him changed my perspective a lot. We both learned a lot from each other.

I follow Islam and I firmly believe in it, while he's an agnostic atheist. But I'm human and he's human. We all want peace as human beings. Don't let anything distort your humanity. Believe in what you believe in but keep your humanity from being distorted.

Author — dhz

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I'm muslim we need peace not violence from bangladesh

Author — Yaqub MOZOMDER