Hot Docs 2018: What Walaa Wants

Cinema Axis

In the West Bank refugee camp of Balata, a young Palestinian girl named Walaa dreams about joining the local police force. She’s only 13, her brother Mohammad is 11, and the two live with an aunt because their mother is in prison. Once Walaa is in the police force, she gets to have a gun and be in charge of her own life. She won’t have to answer to a man or ask permission to go her own direction. For the free-spirited teenager, it’s a dream come true.

Directed by Christy Garland, What Walaa Wants follows this young Palestinian girl as she lives in Balata, grows into adulthood, and attends basic training to become a member of the police. As a child, Walaa is at least a tad incorrigible, always sticking her nose around and causing problems. She’s also an obvious product of her surroundings – casually recounting an assassination…

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