Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign
التضامن الإيرلندي الفلسطيني

[Waterford] Film Screening: Small Hands in Handcuffs (Independent)

A documentary film about child arrests in Palestine, directed by Anraí Carroll. Admission to this film is free.

About the film

16 year old Waterford boy travels to the West Bank to make film on child arrests

In October 2013, Anraí Carroll, a 16 yr old transition year student travelled to the West Bank to make a film about child arrests in Palestine. Posing as tourists, Anraí and his mum, activist Brenda Carroll, flew to Israel and travelled on to the West Bank where Anraí finally met Mahmoud, a boy his own age who was arrested at 14 and imprisoned for almost a year and a half, and Rasim, aged18, who lives in fear of a knock on the door which could mean his arrest. They started with no money, no cameras, no experience, nothing but Anraí’s love for Palestine and a determination to do something that could make a difference.

Every year about 700 children go through the Israeli court system, usually accused of throwing stones. Some do…most do not. This is not the number who are arrested as many are released within a week after being interrogated, terrorised and sometimes tortured. This is something Anraí has always felt strongly about. Children as young as 5 have been arrested and the number of arrests are growing.

Not many people travel to the West Bank these days. It’s getting more dangerous, it’s hard to get past security at Ben Guerin Airport, and everywhere there are checkpoints, army raids and random attacks by settlers, so to travel there at 16 shows a huge amount of courage. In Palestine, pointing a camera can be as dangerous as pointing a gun. Getting caught making this film carried the risk of Anraí and his mother being arrested and deported.

Anraí’s film shows not just the physical journey but the painfully emotional and sometimes scary transition from naive Xbox player to a wiser and stronger young man.

What started as a plan to make a small video for Youtube mushroomed into a much bigger project with footage donated by journalists, activists, and media companies around the world. The music comes from a South African/Palestinian band, some of the sound was edited in Qatar, and people all round the world have donated to pay off the loan borrowed to make this low budget film. It’s an amazing example of how the world can unite when they feel strongly about something. What started as a simple idea in Powerscourt Lawns, Waterford, has grown into a global symbol of solidarity.

Since its launch in Waterford in February 2014, the film has been show extensively throughout Ireland. It was also shown in London and was featured in the Belfast Feile 2014 and the renowned Boston Palestinian Festival 2014. Anraí and Brenda continue to tour with the film to highlight the injustice of child arrests in Palestine.