Movies don't come more ripped from the headlines than "The Green Prince," which focuses on an astonishing earlier chapter in the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.

The documentary tells the story of Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of a Hamas leader, who worked undercover for Israel's Shin Bet from 1997 to 2007.

It's a remarkable story, filled with tense drama, exploring the fascinating psychological implications and heartache of Yousef's moral choice.

Documentarian Nadav Schirman, adapting Yousef's memoir, combines re-enactments with surveillance and period footage, plus vivid on-camera testimony from the subject and his handler, to paint an exacting picture of what led this man to abandon his family and community forever for a life of fear and loneliness.

It's a true multimedia effort, structured and depicted as a classic spy story with considerable effort applied to mimic the sensory experiences of Yousef's stint undercover.

Most impressively, Schirman achieves a universality that resonates most in Yousef's sad eyes staring at us in vivid close-ups.

 

Documentary by Nadav Schirman | Rated PG-13 | Playing at Angelika, Lincoln Plaza