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Raised to Be Heroes

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They will fight for their country, they will die for their country, but not in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. And although they act on conscience, they pay a steep personal price. Featuring haunting accounts from the front lines, Raised to Be Heroes introduces the latest generation of Israeli soldiers to selectively object to military operations undertaken by their country.

After years of executing missions against the Palestinians, often involving violence and oppression, some soldiers now believe their country's actions are inhumane. They're confronted with an excruciating dilemma: do they obey orders and continue a cycle of aggression and revenge? Or do they refuse to serve, risking vehement backlash and condemnation from family, friends and society? Through a series of raw and emotional testimonies, a group of Refuseniks lay bare the moment that they finally, and courageously, drew the line.

Their gripping stories are intertwined with that of Matan Kaminer, one of five high school seniors that together refused to enlist in the army because they believe Israel's actions in the Territories are wrong. Awaiting trial, Kaminer reflects on his controversial decision and the consequences he faces.

There are more than 1,600 Refuseniks in Israel and this number is growing. Many Israelis condemn them for failing their nation; however, they stand by their conscience in the hopes of ending the occupation. 'The time I spent in jail was the most important time I served for my country, for my friends in my unit, for my family, for the security of Israel,' says Major Chen Alon.

Capturing a moment in the ever-changing political landscape of the region, Raised to Be Heroes uses the unforgettable experiences of Refuseniks to inspire an essential dialogue about peace, democracy and personal responsibility.

2006, 53 min 47 s

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Bronze Plaque - Category: War & Peace
International Film and Video Festival
November 7 to 12 2006, Columbus - USA

Silver Audience Award
Amnesty International Film Festival
November 2 to 5 2006, Vancouver - Canada

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