Gaza at the 23rd Arab Film Festival
Date(s) - 10/19/2019
The New Parkway
Ireland’s official 2020 Oscar entry!
This program is part of the 23rd Arab Film Festival – In San Francisco and Oakland October 11th through the 20th: arabfilmfestival.org
It’s hard to imagine anybody living a normal life in the Gaza Strip. Frequently labeled as the world’s largest open-air prison, it makes an appearance on news reports every time a confrontation erupts between Israel and Hamas. From TV sets thousands of miles away, this tiny piece of land has been reduced to an image of violence, chaos and destruction. So what do the people do when they’re not under siege?
The Gaza which is seldom seen is ordinary, everyday Gaza: a coastal strip which measures just twenty-five miles by six and which is home to an eclectic mix of almost two million people. Gaza cannot be understood in a purely political context or by analyzing tragic sound bites during conflict. It can only be understood by immersion, by living among its people and by recognizing and exploring its rich social diversity and cultural subtleties.
Gaza will introduce the audience to the surprising and the unexpected, the unfamiliar stories that portray its true face. It takes an atypical approach to finding out what makes this remarkable place tick as it introduces to the world extraordinary stories of everyday characters leading ordinary lives.
Gaza depicts a people plagued by conflict but not defined by it and as we journey through the physically broken and battered landscape, we let our cast of characters speak for themselves. Through them we gain a nuanced understanding of what life is really like for its citizens and, by extension: grow and foster a rare familiarity and affinity with this truly unique place, as we build towards a tender portrait of a beleaguered humanity.