Director: Garry Keane & Andrew Mc Connell
The award-winning and critically acclaimed documentary from Garry Keane & Andrew Mc Connell. This elegantly shot and masterfully crafted portrait of Palestinian life offers a rare chance to be immersed in the heart of Gaza.
GAZA brings us into a unique place beyond the reach of television news reports to reveal a world rich with eloquent and resilient characters, offering us a cinematic and enriching portrait of a people attempting to lead meaningful lives against the rubble of perennial conflict.
Throughout its entire history the Gaza Strip has been witness to conflict and upheaval. From ancient times this tiny coastal territory, located at a crossroads between continents, has been a pawn whose fate rested in the hands of powerful neighbours.
Little has changed today. Blockaded on every side by Israel and Egypt, it has witnessed three wars in the past decade alone. The Islamic resistance movement Hamas came to power in free elections in 2006 and after defeating rival Fatah in a short conflict, began governing the territory in 2007. In the same year Israel imposed its blockade, completely sealing Gaza’s borders.
The effect of this siege has been devastating. Almost two million Palestinians now live in poverty. Unemployment sits at 50%, electricity is available for only four hours each day, and the water is now largely undrinkable. The United Nations has publically said that the Gaza Strip will be unlivable by 2020.
Facing the serene Mediterranean Sea, 19 year old Karma Khaial stands at the water’s edge and senses freedom. But in Gaza, the sea is yet another wall restricting the lives and dreams of its inhabitants.
This elegantly shot and masterfully crafted portrait of Palestinian life offers a rare chance to be immersed in the heart of Gaza, as we glimpse behind the walls of this misunderstood land to get to know the real people who inhabit it. Inside a Gaza City taxi, we meet a teacher, a student and a barber, who all share their dreams and daily predicaments with the driver, Ahmed, using surprising humor and candor. Ahmed could take them anywhere except that a decade old blockade makes it nearly impossible to leave the enclave.
Like its people, Gaza’s landscape feels kaleidoscopic: colorful yet pained, fragile yet resilient, ancient while looking to the future. Memory plays heavy on its consciousness. But life moves in cycles in Gaza and in spite of everything, joy and humanity can be found in every corner of this mosaic of life.