‘Gaza:’ An uplifting study of a land in turmoil

The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Tuesday. (Image Supplied)
Updated 31 January 2019

‘Gaza:’ An uplifting study of a land in turmoil

CHENNAI: There can be few things more heartrending than the plight of people living without jobs, clean drinking water, and crammed into a narrow stretch of land blockaded on all sides.
But this is the reality of Gaza, where 2 million Palestinians live as virtual prisoners. Once described by former British Prime Minister David Cameron as an “open-air prison,” Gaza is hemmed in by Egypt, Israel and the Mediterranean Sea. The borders are nearly always closed.


It is this tiny strip of land – 25 miles long and 7 miles wide – which is the subject of the documentary “Gaza,” directed by Garry Keane and Andrew McConnell. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in the US on Tuesday.
What is remarkably elevating about Gaza is the resilience of the people who live there. The documentary contrasts their daily sufferings with the simple joys of their lives. Despite grinding poverty, some push themselves to play sport, dance and sing, and celebrate weddings and other ceremonies with seemingly not a care in the world.
The music is occasionally punctuated by the wails of mothers who have lost their children to Israeli shelling, which is answered by angry crowds of stone-throwing Palestinians. 
This film is an enriching portrait of a territory facing perpetual conflict. There have been three wars there. Israel moved out of Gaza in 2005, destroying its settlements and imposing a debilitating blockade in the process. The militant Islamic group Hamas came to power in 2006.
There is a telling scene of 19-year-old Kamal standing by the sea and longing for the freedom to travel. With the unemployment rate at 50 percent and electricity available for only four hours a day, the UN predicts the Gaza Strip will no longer be fit for habitation by 2020. 
Yet life there goes on: We see a teacher, barber and student going about their affairs, and a man enjoying a coffee by the beach and exchanging pleasantries with passersby.
Despite all the gloom and sorrow, the humanity, color and joy of this documentary still manages to leave the viewer feeling uplifted.


Egyptian photographer to take part in exhibition in Germany 

Updated 32 min 4 sec ago

Egyptian photographer to take part in exhibition in Germany 

DUBAI: Egyptian photographer Mohamed Hassan is among a long list of international artists who will showcase their work at “Facing Britain,” an exhibition scheduled at Germany’s renowned Museum Goch. 

The fair, set to take place from Sept. 27 to Nov 7, focuses on the period of Britain’s European Union membership between 1963 until 2020. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Beautiful horses Pembrokeshire #wales #documentyourdays #shootpentax

A post shared by Mo Hassan محمد حسن (@mohamed_hassan.photo) on

Hassan, who has been living in Wales since 2007, will showcase his work that he says “aims to challenge some of the stereotypes and judgements that people make about other people.”

“My personal experience as an Egyptian living in Wales for the last 10 years is that I am often judged or stereotyped by my appearance,” Hassan, who is originally from Alexandria, says on his website. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Portrait of an amazing artist @lindanorrisglass Check her work on http://www.linda-norris.com/gallery/

A post shared by Mo Hassan محمد حسن (@mohamed_hassan.photo) on

“During the last few years, as a result of events in the world, I have personal experience of less tolerance of my background with people sometimes behaving very negatively towards me as a fear of Islam and Muslims has grown,” he added. 

Hassan’s art has been exhibited at prestigious galleries including Wales’s Mission Gallery, the Waterfront National Museum, London’s Trajectory Showcase Competition Exhibition and more.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Mo Hassan محمد حسن (@mohamed_hassan.photo) on

The exhibition also focuses on the 1970s and 1980s, when artistic documentary photography gained an importance worldwide.

Besides Hassan, the exhibition will also present work of artists from around the world including: James Barnor, John Bulmer, Rob Bremner, Thom Corbishley, Robert Darch, Anna Fox, Henry Grant, Ken Grant, Judy Greenway and many more.