The Green Prince (2014)
Critic Consensus: The Green Prince doesn't answer all the questions it raises, but it's still timely, gripping -- and ultimately uplifting -- viewing.
Set against the chaotic backdrop of recent events in the Middle East, Nadav Schirman's THE GREEN PRINCE retraces the details of a highly unprecedented partnership that developed between sworn enemies. In the style of a tense psychological thriller, this extraordinary documentary recounts the true story of the son of a Hamas leader who emerged as one of Israel's prized informants, and the Shin Bet agent who risked his career to protect him. (C) Music Box
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Critic Reviews for The Green Prince
It's a movie that raises as many questions as it addresses, and which never quite convincingly answers even the most pressing one: Just what made the son of a radical Palestinian-liberation leader go to work as an Israeli spy?
The movie's empty pizzazz is especially irritating because the story would have been compelling without any embellishment.
It's a harrowing tale of intrigue and betrayal, but also one of a friendship that survives despite extraordinary circumstances.
[A] gripping documentary set against the internecine battle between Israel and Palestine.
This a film that leaves many unanswered questions, but it's nonetheless satisfying, because it resonates emotionally and offers a ray of hope that the human spirit has the ability to trump entrenched political perspectives.
Audience Reviews for The Green Prince
A fascinating and suspenseful documentary that tells an almost unbelievable story of a man who betrayed his own culture for what he believed in and two people from different backgrounds who became unexpected friends as they got caught in the eye of an everlasting storm.
"The Green Prince" is an insightful, fascinating and suspenseful documentary about Mosab Hassan Yousef, who is not only the eldest son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, one of the founders of Hamas, but also was an informer for Shin Bet, Israeli internal intelligence. So, as you can imagine, this puts him in a great deal of danger, as his handlers weigh the possibility of blowing his cover versus saving lives. At the same time, this also allows for a unique perspective on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict that has been going on for decades with a personal angle.(If I have any trouble with "The Gatekeepers," it is its lack of one.)
As much as "The Green Prince" could stop with just Mosab and Gonen Ben Yitzhak, one of his handlers, talking about their unique experiences and still be highly satisfying, the documentary does not stop there, as it has a few visual cards up its sleeve. For example, Mosab is introduced with his face blacked out before being revealed to the audience. Plus, the documentary expertly uses archival material as a reminder of recent history and putting the subjects' story fully into context.
The Green Prince works solely based on the two men it covers. The more it delves into the specifics of all of Mosab's activities as in informant, the less I was interested. Not that it wasn't interesting material they were covering, but it wasn't what I cared about. There's an interesting narrative here about two men who are using their relationship, respectively for their own needs, but eventually they learn to care about each other deeply.
When director Nadav Schirman focuses on this, the film is actually incredibly interesting, especially with all of the intelligence missions as a backdrop. But when the missions take on the focus, the film feels like it's losing itself in the sensational parts of the story. The Green Prince is a really interesting documentary about how lives can be changed, the truth can be found, and relationships can be built when we open ourselves to one another. Definitely worth checking out.
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