502 E Lamar Alexander Pkwy
Maryville, TN 37804
Hurdle will be shown in person with very limited capacity and social distancing. Masks must be worn at all times. Screening may be switched to online, if so, ticket holders will be sent a link to view on line. Reserved seating.
Thanks to our Film Tour Sponsor Russell & Abbott Heating and Cooling, all film screening will be free this season.
Hurdle reveals a riveting story emerging from Palestinian youth living under Israeli military occupation. As a result, the new generation responds to a world of walls, checkpoints and arrests in an unexpected and inspiring way. Hurdle’s protagonists, Sami and Mohammad, begin teaching the creative practices of parkour and photography, respectively, to the youth of their communities as a means to overcome the personal and political obstacles that often feel inescapable. Even more, though these young men are separated by a wall, they are united in leading the next generation toward freedom and self-determination through creative practices.
Parkour is the sport of moving rapidly through an urban environment while negotiating obstacles by running, jumping, and climbing. Sami is a 23-year-old Palestinian and the coach of the Jerusalem Parkour Team. He is a rock to his peers, takes his role as a mentor seriously and remains steadfastly devoted to his sport and community. Sami is seen teaching his followers at the base of the Israeli Separation Wall, on the rooftops of Jerusalem and in a small practice gym tucked away in the Old City. As a result, the youth, feeling immense pressure from the effects of living under military occupation, explode with a dynamic show of acrobatics – taking back their personal freedom of movement.
Living on the other side of the wall in the Palestinian West Bank is Mohammad. A lifetime resident of Aida refugee camp, he too turns to creativity in order to escape the walls surrounding him as he passes down his creative practice to the youth of the refugee camp. By developing their skills in photography and storytelling, they document daily life in the camp and broadcast their stories beyond the walls that keep them static. Therefore, with shocking visuals of military incursions into the camp, the cameras in the hands of youth become tools of response to the violence and loss of innocence they must face.
With breathtaking visuals, intimate access and action-packed scenes, award-winning Hurdle (from first-time filmmaker Michael Rowley) provides audiences and critics alike with a fresh look at an old conflict. Consequently, the next generation must decide what to do with the wars and walls they inherit and, ultimately, find ways to practice their freedom.
“There are young men living in the shadow of a wall. And somehow, they seem to fly…the film is called ‘Hurdle’” – The New York Times
“Hurdle offers new perspective on resistance with these two men leading the next generation of Palestinian to fight oppression in a non-violent way.” – Film Threat
Photo: Jehad Abusneineh of the Jerusalem Parkour Team. Courtesy: Hurdle