Jerusalem Road

Screenplay by Simone Yehuda

Semi-finalist, Stage 32 Happy Writers Feature Contest 2015

GENRE: Political Thriller

An American college student returns to Jerusalem and joins a terrorist organization to prevent his sister from becoming a suicide bomber.

SYNOPSIS: ALI is a relatively well-adjusted Detroit University student when he learns that his sister ZAHRA has been recruited by the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade to be a suicide bomber. Currently living with his adoptive aunt and uncle, RUTH and YUSEF, Ali rushes back to his family in Nablus to convince his cousin GUMLA to release Zahra from the seductive grip of this terrorist organization.

When Ali realizes that Gumla is actually his sister’s trainer, he tricks Gumla into believing that he wants to assist in the suicide mission being planned. Ali hopes to discover the date, time and place of the attack in order to foil it.

Undercover at the Al Aqsa training camp, Ali secretly succeeds in subtly weakening Zahra’s commitment, but Gumla, sensing her doubts, proposes marriage, thereby sealing their bond. Although Ali manages to unearth the date of the fatal assault, its location is changed from a Jerusalem pizza parlor to the Israeli-Palestinian Intercultural Conference Center where, ironically, his own band will be performing. Located along the gateway to Israel’s capitol on Shazar Street, the bombing will have maximum effect and media coverage.

Will Ali choose to replace Zahra as the suicide bomber?

With the aid of his aunt and uncle, as well as his parents, SHIREEN and MAHMOUD, Ali concocts a rescue plan. While pretending to work with Gumla on the details of their private wedding ceremony immediately preceding the execution of the mission, Ali is poised to expose Gumla to the Israeli police.

Will Ali be outsmarted by Gumla? Will Ali choose to replace Zahra as the suicide bomber? Or will the bombing proceed as planned with the tragic consequences he tried to prevent?