A stunning work of political fiction inspired by the real-life of a Palestinian artist.
Mars At Sunrise tells the story of a war waged on imagination. The film abstractly portrays the conflict between artists on either side of Israel’s militarized borders, and explores how a powerful creative mind survives, and even thrives, under pressure.
When Azzadeh, a young Jewish American poet, travels to Israel to see the land and people she has only ever heard about through the voices of others she uncovers stories of Israeli soldiers who reflect on the complexity of their military service; Palestinian families who are displaced and wedged between walls; and artists from both cultures who strive to paint a picture of life surrounded by conflict.
While waiting at a checkpoint in Jenin, Azzadeh meets Khaled, a Palestinian painter forced from his home in East Jerusalem. Azzadeh accepts a ride from the handsome stranger, whose life story she soon bears witness to as the two come face to face with Eyal, the young officer who once interrogated Khaled, at the next checkpoint.
Khaled tells Azzadeh the story of his arrest and torture when he refused to collaborate with Israeli Intelligence. Under the duress of solitary confinement, Khaled must use the muscles of his creative imagination to remain free despite the imprisonment of his physical being.
As he struggles, Khaled awakens a wave of jealousy, creativity and chaos in Eyal, himself a frustrated artist. But through this painter’s resistance, courage and spirit, we learn that an artist can never be imprisoned.