A Night of Visual Impact: The Boy from H2 and B’Tselem’s Camera Project

Nov 6 2017


Busboys and Poets - 5th & K
1025 5th St NW,
Washington, DC 20001



In June 2017, the Israeli occupation reached the half-century mark. Discussing this part of Israel’s history and current reality is undeniably tense and independent information is hard to identify. Israeli human rights organizations like B’Tselem provide us with the knowledge we need to examine the occupation and its human rights implications

Twelve-year-old Muhammad Burqan lives in H2, an area of Hebron in which 40,000 Palestinians contend with a restrictive regime imposed by Israel as a result of the some 800 Israeli settlers living in the same area. Nearly every day, Israeli soldiers in H2 detain Palestinian children on suspicion of stone-throwing. Muhammad, who has nine brothers and sisters, is one of those children. His life revolves around his crowded home and the street, where he constantly finds himself getting into trouble.

Created in collaboration with B’Tselem’s field researchers and camera project volunteers, The Boy from H2 seamlessly juxtaposes filmmaker Helen Yanovsky’s professional observation and real time documentation by local residents. The result is an intimate portrayal of Palestinian life in Hebron through the story of an extraordinary boy.

Please join us after the screening for a conversation with filmmaker Helen Yanovsky and B’Tselem USA Director Chelsey Berlin, moderated by Ori Nir of Americans for Peace Now.

About Us:

Helen Yanovsky is the video archive manager of B’Tselem בצלם بتسيلم, where she has contributed expertise in film since 2012. A documentary filmmaker, Helen’s films include Neve Shaanan Street (2008), Jerusalem Boxing Club (2015), The Boy from H2 (2017). Her work has been screened at the Jerusalem Film Festival, the Berlinale, the Other Israel Film Festival, and others. Born in Tbilisi, Georgia, Helen studied theatre and film at Shota Rustaveli Theatre and Film University and completed an MFA in film directing at Tel Aviv University in Israel.
Chelsey Berlin is the director of B’Tselem USA, a nonprofit that builds support in the United States for the protection of human rights in the Occupied Territories. Chelsey previously spent three years in the northern West Bank city of Nablus directing a service-learning program at Tomorrow’s Youth Organization and a year in Tel Aviv as the recipient of a Dorot Fellowship in Israel. Chelsey is the vice chair of HEKDESH, a national giving circle. She earned her BA in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies from Brandeis University.

Ori Nir Ori Nir joined Americans for Peace Now in 2006 following a 24-year career in journalism, which was mainly focused on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Nir covered Palestinian affairs for Haaretz Daily, Israel’s leading newspaper during the first years of the Palestinian uprising and through the troubled implementation of the first phases of the Oslo Accords. Later, he covered Israel’s Arab minority for Haaretz, (2000-2002). In addition to his reporting on the ground, Nir covered the diplomatic efforts to advance Arab-Israeli peace. As the Washington correspondent of Ha’aretz (1990-1994) and of the Forward (2002-2006), he focused on America’s Mideast policy. Nir was also Haaretz’s West Coast Correspondent (1996-2000) reporting from San Francisco. Between 1982 and 1986 Nir worked at the Arab Affairs desk of Israel Television’s (Channel One) news department, following a 4-year service in the IDF. Nir earned a Master’s degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where he also taught journalism (1997-2000). His Bachelor’s degree in Middle Eastern history and Arabic literature is from Jerusalem’s Hebrew University. He is fluent in Hebrew and Arabic.

The New Israel Fund is the leading organization advancing and defending democracy in Israel. Widely credited with building Israeli progressive civil society, NIF has provided hundreds of millions of dollars to Israel since its inception in 1979. More about NIF here: www.nif.org