Topic of the week: Filming Gaza

The Gaza Strip is a Palestinian exclave borded by Israel and Egypt. Although being under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority according to the Olso accords, Gaza has since June 2007 been governed by Hamas, a Palestinian fundamentalist Islamic organization and has been placed under an Israeli and US-led blocus eversince, making the living conditions of it’s 1.85 millions inhabitants precarious and unsafe : some describe it as an open-air prison.

Although there are no film theaters and no film schools in the city of Gaza, and filming under the Hamas government is problematic, the peculiar situation and history of this territory has inspired many filmmakers, being from Gaza or foreigners. Here is a focus on filming Gaza.

1. Gaza Surf Club (2016) German documentary directors Philip Gnadt and Mickey Yamine went to Gaza to meet a new generation, grown in this scarred by war landscape, emancipating from the occupation and the political and religious deadlock through riding the waves of the beautiful levante’s beaches.

2. Ourobouros (2017) Basma Alsharif is a visual artist born in Palestine. As an homage to the Gaza Strip, Ouroboros follows a man through five different landscapes, upending mass-mediated representation of trauma. A journey outside of time, marking the end as the beginning, exploring the subject of the eternal return and how we move forward when all is lost.

3. L’Apollon de Gaza (2018) After Aisheen (2010), a chronic of the Gazaoui’s life following the war of 2008-2009, Swiss director Nicolas Wadimoff returns to Gaza to investigate a thrilling event : In 2013, a statue of Apollo was found off the coast of Gaza before disappearing under strange circumstances… Through this history, the statue provides a glimmer of light and restores a sense of dignity to an entire people.