Today They Took My Son

A mother coping with her young son being taken away by a military system. Her helplessness to prevent the cruel and inhumane treatment she knows he is experiencing is more than any mother can bear. This happens to more than 700 Palestinian children a year.

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  • It is tragic that even now, even after everything they have endured, it is still necessary to humanize Palestinians. This short but masterful film does so much more than that. It shows that we are all Palestinians and they are us. There is no “other.” There is only a mother and her child, pleading with us to enter their lives and understand their pain, imploring us to seek and then embrace what joins and not what separates us.

    Sara Roy (Senior Research Scholar, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University)
  • I'm deeply touched and moved beyond words! The familiarity of recurrent pain only makes it all that more intolerable. Farah's film made me sob with all other mothers, grandmothers, children, human beings who are overwhelmed by the casualness of such horrific injustice and persistence of such willful cruelty. Her revelation of the simple Palestinian story is so personal, so human, so stark that its intensity becomes unbearable. The aesthetic of immersion left me breathless and silent.

    Dr Hanan Ashrawi
  • As a Palestinian, I was imprisoned and tortured three times by the Israeli occupation when I was 14, and 15 years old. Not only did Today They Took My Son call back memories of my experiences, but it helped me understand for the first time the feelings of my mother each time they took me away. It also made me reflect on the heroic role that Palestinian women play in our struggle for freedom. The sounds of my mother’s crying and weeping makes a whole new sense to me today. Thank you for your empathy and courage to shed light on the human side of our struggle for freedom and dignity.

    Ghaleb Darabya (Managing Director, Cambridge Leadership Associates)
  • The visual and verbal poetry of Farah Nabulsi’s short film powerfully conveys the horrors suffered by generations of Palestinian children, and their families, under belligerent Israeli occupation. Palestinian children are seized by Israeli soldiers, confined to dark cells in isolation, interrogated and tortured, deprived of access to parents and lawyers, and sent to military courts where conviction rates are higher than 99%. As her film shows, these children are certain to emerge from their experiences traumatised and broken, their childhood in tatters. I urge anyone who seeks to understand the crushing realities of life for Palestinians under Israeli occupation to watch this film.

    Jonathan Cook
  • Incredibly powerful and beautiful. It should be seen by everyone.

    Kirkland Newman Smulders (Founder and Editor, MindHealth360)
  • There are not enough stones to throw, not enough words to express or tears enough to wash away the crimes committed by Israel. For seven decades Israel has been practicing the unforgivable, unrepentable crimes of genocide, ethnic cleansing and apartheid. But no crime is as terrible as Israel’s campaign of abduction and abuse of Palestinian children. Israel’s cruelty, a mother’s pain and despair and a child’s trauma are all faithfully and painfully illustrated in Today They Took My Son.

    Miko Peled (Author, The General's Son)
  • American law bars aid to military forces that engage in systematic rights abuses. This heartbreaking film, and the brutal reality of which it is a tiny sample, tell us loud and clear that the law should be enforced and military aid to Israel should end as long as the criminal occupation is maintained.

    Noam Chomsky (Institute Professor Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
  • Today They Took My Son covers a very important topic and an area that Human Rights Watch has spent a great deal of time documenting, so it’s great to see the issue taken up in a way that people can relate to on a personal level. The imagery is great, in particular contrasting the real photographs of detained kids with the fictionalized narrative in the film, and the flashbacks between the documentary footage and the narrative recreated is also effective.

    Sarah Leah Whitson (Executive Director, Human Rights Watch Middle East and Africa)
  • Today They Took My Son is really well shot! The message is powerful, and true, and shows the extreme injustice Palestinians live through.

    Sawsan Asfari (Executive Producer, Cactus World Films)