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What Walaa Wants

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Raised in the largest refugee camp in the West Bank while her mother was in prison, Walaa dreams of being a policewoman, wearing a uniform, avoiding marriage, and earning a salary. Despite warnings that ‘no women should be in the army’ and that she’ll bring shame on the family, she applies – and gets in. But her own rebellious behaviour and a complicated relationship with her mother are a challenge, as are the circumstances under which she lives. Following Walaa from 15 to 21, this first-ever look inside the Palestinian police academy brings us the story about a young woman navigating formidable obstacles.


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Running Time: 86
Subject(s): Conflicts, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Middle Eastern Studies, Politics, Women, Youth
Language(s): Arabic
Subtitles: English
Director(s):
Producer(s): Anne Köhncke, Matt Code, Christy see all »
Cinematographer: Christy Garland, Hanna see all »
Editor(s): Michael Aaglund, Graemesee all »
Production Company: Murmur Media, Final Cut for Real.

Festival & Awards

  • Berlinale - 2018
  • Hot Docs - 2018
    DGC Special Jury Prize - Canadian Feature Documentary
  • Vancouver IFF - 2018
    Women in Film + TV Artistic Merit Award
  • DOK.fest München - 2018
  • Vancouver IFF - 2018
  • Forest City FF - 2018
    Best Documentary Feature
  • Ajyal FF - 2018
    Hilal Award for Best Film

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