While waiting at a checkpoint in Jenin, Azzadeh - a young Jewish American poet traveling in Israel for the first time - meets Khaled, a Palestinian painter forced from his home in East Jerusalem. Azzadeh accepts a ride from the handsome stranger, whose life unfolds before her as the two come face to face at the next checkpoint with Eyal, the young officer who once interrogated Khaled. Khaled tells Azzadeh the story of his arrest and torture when he refused to collaborate with Israeli Intelligence. Under the duress of solitary confinement, Khaled must use the muscles of his creative imagination to remain free despite the imprisonment of his physical being. As he struggles, Khaled awakens a wave of jealousy, creativity and chaos in Eyal, himself a frustrated artist. But through this painter's resistance, courage and spirit, we learn that an artist can never be imprisoned.