Published: 2017-10-26 13:01
Last Updated: 2017-10-27 21:18
“In 2002, the Palestinian Territory was under one of the tightest sieges it had ever experienced.
Inspired by a true story.”
Those were the opening lines for the movie “Eyes of a Thief”, inspired by real events that took place in 2002 in the “Valley of the Thief”, where a Palestinian sniper attacked Israeli soldiers on the village’s checkpoint, located between Ramallah and Nablus in the occupied West Bank.
The film that took director Najwa Najjar 25 days to finish, tells the story of families broken by political and personal problems. In other words, it is the story of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The film tells Tareq’s story, played by Egyptian actor Khaled Abu Naga, a Ramallah plumber who was arrested at the same checkpoint on the same day of the 2002 attack.
Photo: Khaled Abu Al Naja and Souad Massi.
We see him being released from prison after a 10 year sentence. He returns to his family to discover that his wife was killed and his daughter was taken to a Nablus orphanage.
His journey to search for his daughter takes him to Nablus, where he meets and becomes attracted to Lila, played by Algerian singer and actress Souad Massi, who happens to be bringing up his daughter, Malak.
The mayor of the village, Lila’s fiancé, Adel, employs Tareq as a water engineer. But he grows suspicious of Tareq and starts looking into his past.
Tareq meanwhile builds a fatherly relationship with Malak and her adopted brother, and discovers secrets of the water project which Adel is working on. Meanwhile, the audience learns about Tareq's hidden past through flashbacks to 2002.
The story is loosely inspired by the true story of the Silwad sniper, a young bricklayer named Thaer Hamad. In the morning of March 3rd, 2002, Hamad positioned himself under trees on a hilltop overlooking an Israeli soldiers checkpoint and fired on the checkpoint killing 11 soldiers, and injuring 9, using an old World War II Mauser rifle and 30 rounds of ammunition. Israeli soldiers never succeeded in locating the sniper, even after dispatching a helicopter.
‘Eyes of a Thief’ is a 98-minute film, produced in 2014 as drama film, and is one of a few films that were shot in the Palestinian territories.
It is the second feature film for Najwa Najjar, after her film Pomegranates and Myrrh (2009). It was selected as the Palestinian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards in 2015.
Photo: Eyes of a Thief Poster
The film was also awarded in Cairo International Film Festival for the Best Actor award, in addition to winning the Best Director award in Kolkata International Film Festival in 2014.
‘Eyes of a Thief’ remarkably illustrates the daily lives of Palestinians, accompanied by a powerful soundtrack, with many of the songs composed and performed by the Algerian singer Souad Massi.
The film will be screened on Roya TV at 9:00 pm, Amman’s time, on Friday.
Video: Eyes of a Thief Official Trailer