Awakening: After Parkland
Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were living normal lives before the devastating school shooting in Parkland, Florida, changed everything. Some were “theater kids,” rehearsing a community theater production of the musical "Spring Awakening." Newly informed by the performers’ personal experience, the distressingly relevant show went on.
In the shadow of the towering walls that divide Israel from occupied Palestine, two young men find their own forms of resistance. Mohammad documents daily life under occupation in photographs, and teaches photography to young students. Sami has taught himself parkour, or freerunning, and teaches the skills he has mastered to others. Israeli soldiers surveil the two men, somehow seeing their activities as a threat. On the day Israel celebrates its independence, the Palestinians commemorate the catastrophe that rendered them refugees, and violence breaks out. In his first feature-length documentary, director/cinematographer Michael Rowley delivers extraordinarily visceral images. “You can practice anything,” says Jerusalem Parkour Team member Jehad, who is studying to become a human rights lawyer, reflecting on what Parkour has taught him. “Freedom is one of those things.”