Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Gaza Strip - Documentary Film

Forward by Susan Brannon Film by James Longley James Longley went to the Gaza Strip for three months and made a documentary film in 2001. This was before the settler's were forced to leave and gives a true prospective on life for the Gazans just as things started to get worse. James Longley decided to release his film for free online only a few months ago so more people will have access to view the Gazan realities. He first released his film in 2002 at the Chicago Palestine Film Festival and the place was packed. Longley also produced "Iraq in Fragments" and was awarded three jury awards at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award for Documentary Feature. His short film Sari's Mother premiered at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award for Documentary Short. In 2009, Longley was awarded a $500,000 MacArthur Fellowship "Genius Grant. This film begins with an introductory to the live in the Gaza Strip and the tension increases in the film while the tension is increasing in the Strip. Parts of this film clearly shows crimes against humanity...when the Israelis dropped chemical canisters onto Khan Younis, Gaza of an unknown substance. At the time, the population was going about their business, along with shooting nearby. The children were coming home from school and the men were working and the then the canisters of some sort of smell-less gas that tasted like sugar or mint was released onto the general population. The film focuses on the lives of the children and you can clearly see the effects of the trauma in their lives. You can follow along through some of the lives of these Gazan children and understand that the children had to grow up quickly with the sounds of bullets, rockets, tanks and loosing their homes. They lost friends, parents, uncles and brothers. One of the children decides that it is better to die than live like the way that his life has led and reflects what life means to him. There are scenes that describe the aftermath at the hospital explaining that some boys picked up some boxing gloves that the Israeli tank dropped off to play with it. Inside was some metal, they thought they could sell it. One boy took the metal ball out of the glove and tried to break it. It exploded and was killed instantly. Two other boys were injured and taken to the hospital.t This film is an eyewitness to The aftermath of the destroyed homes in Khan Younis, the shooting when the families attempt to clean up the mess. You can hear the shooting while the families live in small tents near their destroyed homes. In the end there is utter devastation, inside of the Gaza Strip, in the neighborhoods inside of the Gazan border. It is my hopes that the world does not forget the Gazans and continue to ignore the plight that their lives have taken. After the shooting of this film, life has become much worse for those that live in the Gaza Strip.

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