SFJFF41 SF FILM CRITICS AWARD
In the early 80’s, six-year-old Sero happily stomps around his village with his beloved Uncle Aram. Together they share a fondness for playing pranks on the soldiers that patrol the barbed wire border that separates Syria and Turkey. With balloons bearing their Kurdish national colors of green, yellow, and red, they giggle as they watch the vibrant hues float further into the sky, drawing the ire of the soldiers as gun fire echoes around them. Sero lives happily with a baby sister, a father, and mother who adore him, as well as in harmony with his next door neighbors, who are like his second family. As they are Jewish, Sero undertakes the responsibility of lighting their lanterns and helping around their home during Shabbat and particularly enjoys time spent with lovely Hannah whom nurses a crush on Aram. When a new teacher arrives from Damascus, he brings with him the promise of electricity, but also a hardline that includes cruel punishments, the banning of any language but Arabic and most troubling an education on the nature of Imperialist and Zionist Jews, which culminates in a play in which the children are encouraged to violently stab a Jew in effigy. When his own family is tragically effected by the increasing conflict, Sero struggles to understand the lessons being taught while his future hangs in the balance.
NOTE: This film is only available to the SF Bay Area