‘The Green Prince’ snags Sundance award

Israeli documentary on Hamas founder’s son who spied for Jewish state for over a decade garners critical acclaim

Marissa Newman is The Times of Israel political correspondent.

'The Green Prince' (photo credit: Sundance Institute and Nadav Schirman)
'The Green Prince' (photo credit: Sundance Institute and Nadav Schirman)

An Israeli documentary, “The Green Prince” (directed and written by Nadav Schirman), won the Sundance Film Festival award in the category of Audience Award for World Cinema: Documentary in Park City, Utah on Sunday.

The film is loosely based on the bestselling memoir “Son of Hamas: A Gripping Account of Terror, Betrayal, Political Intrigue, and Unthinkable Choices” by Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of senior Hamas member Sheikh Hassan Yousef.

The movie recounts Yousef’s experience spying for the Shin Bet from 1997 to 2007. Yousef was responsible for preventing numerous suicide bombings during the Second Intifada and was largely considered the most important agent to report to Israel from inside Hamas during those years.

Information he transmitted to the Israeli security forces also reportedly led to the arrests of prominent Hamas members, including Abdullah Barghouti and Ibrahim Hamid, Hamas commanders in the West Bank, as well as Fatah Tanzim commander Marwan Barghouti. In 2007, Yousef fled to California and subsequently converted to Christianity.

The Green Prince film poster
The Green Prince film poster

The film title refers to the Israeli security agency’s nickname for Yousef, named for the color of the Hamas flag and his high-ranking affiliation with the Islamist organization.

Yousef’s father, who was a key figure in Yousef’s illustrious spying career and publicly denounced his son following the publication of his book, was released from an Israeli prison last Monday.

“The Green Prince” was one of five Israeli films to be screened at the Sundance Film Festival.

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