Sundance Favorite ‘The Green Prince’ Opens in L.A. Dec. 5

On December 5, “The Green Prince” will finally be released out of the festival circuit bubble and granted a limited release.  This gripping documentary details the true story of Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of a Hamas leader who ended up working as an Israeli informant.

Growing up in Palestine, Yousef was fiercely loyal to Hamas.  However, after he was caught smuggling guns and thrown into an Israeli prison, the young man’s feeling towards his father’s party and their methods began to change.  He was particularly appalled by suicide bombing.  After being recruited by Gonen ben Yitzhak, a handler from the Israeli Security Agent, or Shin Bet, Yosef was given the code name “Green Prince” and went on to spy on the Hamas elite for ten years.

Although “The Green Prince” may sound to some like a dark tale of a man who betrayed his father, the core of the story is actually the relationship between Yousef and Yitzhak.  Initially suspicious of each other, the two men forged a strong bond over the years.

“It’s a human story, not a regional story,” director Nadav Schirman told The New York Times. “Yes, there is politics in the background, but it could have been between the Irish and the English. So, for me, it’s not about politics, and it’s not about Hamas. The film is about Mosab Hassan Yousef and Gonen ben Yitzhak, about the relationship between a handler and a source.”

Based on Yousef’s bestselling memoir “Son of Hamas,” “The Green Prince” is the third documentary Schirman, the son of an Israeli diplomat, has made in the past decade.  The previous two,”The Champagne Spy” and “In the Darkroom,” also told stories of espionage and terrorism and had strong family and relationship themes. Yousef echoed Schirman’s sentiments about “The Green Prince” being a personal, emotional story.

“The Green Prince” won the Sundance Audience Award in the world documentary category earlier this year.  Soon after, plans were announced to remake the documentary into a feature film.

The Green Prince’ will be open in Los Angeles Dec. 5.