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Shimon the King – The Story of a Young Radio Announcer from Beit She’an. Movie by Ariel Miroz    

 Shimon Dahan is a young man of 26 from Beit She’an with Down’s Syndrome. He studies in “The Institute for Life Studies for People with Special Needs” in the Jordan Valley. There, he is known as “Shimon the King,” the undisputed leader of a clique of students. But Shimon wants to succeed in “regular society,” to be a musician, to follow his calling. Shimon gets the chance to fulfill his dream when he’s accepted into the radio announcers’ course in “The Kinneret Academic College”. Before the course even begins, Shimon’s imagination takes off and he fantasizes about hosting his own radio show. Concurrently, he leaves his first girlfriend, Mirit, who also has disabilities, feeling that having a girlfriend “like that” isn’t appropriate for him.

Reality, however, is quick to slap Shimon in the face. His inclination to fantasize and his uppity behavior cause the people in his class and the teacher, Menashe Raz, to push him to the side. Shimon is hurt. The other students in his class treat him dismissively and none of them join his initiative to air a radio program about Eastern music
In order to succeed in the course, Shimon has to undergo a process of disillusionment, casting off his childish fantasies.
Is he capable of doing that? Will he succeed in fitting in with regular students and become a radio announcer? Will “Shimon the King” succeed in making his dream come true – to work in music and earn a living from it?
“Shimon the King” is the story of Shimon Dahan on his way to making his dream come true. The question of Shimon’s integration into regular society and his success in the radio course are central points in the movie, signifying both internal and external conflicts. The movie fluctuates between the ideal of personal fulfillment and its central expression in our culture and our true ability, as a society, to understand atypical, dissimilar people and accept them as an integral part of ourselves.
Despite this, the movie is not only the story of “an unusual person” in “regular” society. The movie touches on the human desire in each of us to stand out, to succeed, and to leave our mark on the world. The journey of Shimon Dahan of Beit She’an is a spiritual, social and psychological journey of one person within the huge world; one person who wants to fulfill himself: to be “the best, the most open and the most complete,” exactly as each of us yearn to be

See the ynet article about the movie here


The Shalem Foundation is a partner in the funding of the movie