The purpose of our latest trip to Israel / Palestine was to meet with the young men who are the main subjects in Hurdle and show them the completed film in private together. It was an emotional experience. These young men opened their personal lives to us as filmmakers and ultimately to you as an audience. They shared their hopes, dreams, fears and challenges with us so that we may better understand an experience different from our own. It took a great deal of courage, trust, time and sacrifice to allow us to capture the amazing story that we did.
It is for this reason, that we felt it very important to meet face-to-face and allow them to view the film before we release it to the public.
After the screenings with Mohammad, Sami, Jehad and Hamzeh there was a joy but also heaviness in the room. I think we all were realizing that we're a part of something that is bigger than ourselves as individuals. They spoke about our attention to detail and the way we were able to capture not only a story, but how it feels to be in their shoes. One of them said: "Sometimes it's easy to forget who you are, but watching this film has reminded me of who I am." There were hugs, talk of inspiration and plans for the future. After almost three years, we were able to celebrate the work of Hurdle together.
We are so grateful and inspired by these young men. We are ready for 2019, to share this film far and wide and to continue building the Hurdle family. — Michael Rowley, Director, Producer