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Christy Garland
CA DK 2018    57' 86'
⚬ Human Interest ⚬ Kids & Youth ⚬ Human Rights 


Raised in the largest refugee camp on the West Bank while her mother was in prison, Walaa dreams of being a policewoman, wearing a uniform, avoiding marriage, and earning a salary. Despite warnings that ‘no women should be in the army’ and that she’ll bring shame on the family, she applies - and gets in. But her own rebellious behavior and a complicated relationship with her mother are a challenge, as are the circumstances under which she lives.

Following Walaa from 15 to 21, with an intimate POV and the exuberant energy of its subject, this first-ever look inside the Palestinian police academy brings us the story about a young woman navigating formidable obstacles, learning which rules to break and follow, and disproving the negative predictions from her surroundings and the world at large.




Christy Garland


Anne Köhncke, Matt Code, Christy Garland

Executive Producers

Signe Byrge Sørensen, Anita Lee, Wael Kabbani, Penny Charter

Production Companies

Murmur Media, Final Cut For Real

Co-Production Company

National Film Board of Canada


Christy Garland, Hanna Abu Sada


Michael Aaglund, Graeme Ring


Tom Third


Peter Schultz


DGC Special Jury Prize - Canadian Feature Documentary

Hot Docs 2018

Margaret Mead Filmmaker Award Winner

Margaret Mead FF 2018

Women in Film + TV Artistic Merit Award

Vancouver IFF 2018

Best Documentary Feature

Forest City FF 2018

Hilal Award for Best Film

Ajyal FF 2018


Berlinale 2018

Hot Docs 2018

Melbourne IFF 2018

Vancouver IFF 2018

RIDM 2018

Edinburgh IFF 2018

DOK.fest München 2018

Cork FF 2018

Margaret Mead FF 2018

IDFA 2018

Ajyal Youth FF 2018

Göteborg IFF 2019

Cartagena IFF 2019

One World Prague 2019

Seattle IFF 2019


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Film Details

Runtimes 57' 86'
Spoken Languages Arabic
Production Countries Canada, Denmark


Christy Garland has directed award-winning and critically acclaimed documentary features and fiction shorts. Based in Toronto, she often co‐produces with the Nordic countries. Distributed worldwide, Garland's films deliver strong dramatic development, poignant character transformation and universally felt themes. THE BASTARD SINGS THE SWEETEST SONG (2012, Hot Docs, Sheffield a.o.) garnered rave reviews at its theatrical release, “echoing the work of Bresson and the Dardennes” (Globe & Mail). Her latest film CHEER UP (2016, HotDocs, DOC NYC a.o) was called “a biting portrait of young womanhood” by Vice.


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