One of the characters is the sea, said film-maker Andrew McConnell at the preview screening of the documentary film Gaza which goes on general release from today.
are boys surfing on the waves, fishermen with their nets and on the
horizon an Israeli war ship.
The underwater scenes of the boys diving into the depth with the exhilaration of youth are juxtaposed with scenes of teenagers with a giant catapult slinging stones at concrete fortifications. A rite of passage in a war zone.
Andrew it was the boys at the water’s edge who were the gateway to
the documentary he started filming in 2014. He wanted to tell their
stories and their families, filming over several years, meeting new
people such as a girl learning to play the cello, her mother, a
theatre director and a taxi driver.
He wanted to get away from the one-dimensional quality of the news footage of conflict that we usually see of Gaza, he told playwright Jo Egan, artistic director and a founding member of Macha Productions, during a question and answer session with the audience after the screening in Belfast.
This documentary by Andrew McConnell and Garry Keane succeeds in the film-makers’ aim of letting us look into the lives of the young men dancing and the young women trying out Bedouin inspired dresses.
one is left with the sense of the claustrophobia they must
experience; nearly two million people living on a small strip of land
and even the open sea is another impenetrable border.
The film opens today in Omniplex Kennedy Centre, Belfast, Omniplex Derry, QFT Belfast and Irish Film Institute, Dublin.