Hero Brother


Inbal & Ilan


Inbal is Ilan's big sister. Ilan has Down syndrome, and their relationship was never close. Inbal explains that from the moment Ilan was born, her parents focused all of their attention on him and she felt pushed aside. Now that their parents are againg, Inbal is trying to get closer to Ilan, with the realization that the full responsibility of his care will soon fall onto her. She begins the trek with many fears and apprehensions. She has never been to a country like India before, and has never been responsible for her brother on a daily basis. During a particularly rough stretch of the climb, Ilan shows signs of acute mountain sickness at an altitude of 3500 meters above sea level. With no chance of rescue, Inbal must face what she has feared most, bearing responsibility for her brother. When Ilan recovers, he smiles at her, and she feels as if she received a gift, and she is finally able to understand her parents.


Harel & Golan

Harel completed his military service in the IDF as an officer in the Golani Brigade specializing in counter-terrorism. He was subsequently sent on a security mission to train high combat soldiers in the Congo. Harel’s Down syndrome brother Golan is timid, vulnerable and sensitive. As their journey begins, Harel relates to his brother like a soldier under his command, demanding far more than Golan can handle. As the journey continues, Harel realizes his mistake and changes his attitude, and his tough facade falls away to reveal a generous and loving individual who endured much pain growing up with Golan..

 "At the age of 22, I became the mother of a nineteen-year-old with Down syndrome" says Irena, stroking her brother Amar's hair as she talks about the death of her mother who died four years earlier after a long struggle with cancer.   Amar knows his mother is dead – he was at her bedside throughout her illness and until the moment she died – yet deep inside he is unable to accept or understand the fact of her death. While climbing the mountain, Amar insists that he is going to visit his mother in heaven, and experiences terrible pain and disappointment when he reaches the peak to find that she is not there. Instead of joining the celebration of the group, he hugs his sister in tears. Irena cries too, and for the first time since their mother's death, they both allow themselves to experience the pain, and begin a process of acceptance and recovery. 


Irena & Amar