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Walls Cannot Keep Us From Flying

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 20, 2023

Jonathan Mehring’s short documentary Walls Cannot Keep Us From Flying follows two young Palestinians who have found freedom in skateboarding while surrounded by walls & barbed wire and facing harassment from Israeli authorities and their own families & communities.

What do I feel when I skate? What do I imagine? I imagine there’s no occupation, there’s no wall. I feel freedom.

With every new trick, it’s like you become aware of a new life, new ideas. It’s not something that I can describe, it’s something you feel in your heart. It’s like when something has been missing and you’re looking for it and slowly you find it.

According to one of the young skaters in the film, when a new skatepark opened in the West Bank, the Israeli army came and fired tear gas. And no wonder — when oppressed people start doing things like skateboarding and begin to feel like they are free, authoritarian regimes can’t have that — they’ve got to crack down.