Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Where Should The Birds Fly??????

A young girl sits among the rubble of her family home. She talks of the many people she knows who have been killed. When asked if she lost many family members she says: “Not many. Just my mother, my father and my brother.” Mona is 10 years old.
Omar stands before the rubble of the house he began building on the day his first son was born. Over the next twelve years he painstakingly added brick upon brick, wiring, plumbing, a new room, another floor. A fine house for his growing family, filled with precious mementos, well-kept furniture, wall hangings, children’s toys, all the necessary silver and flatware for daily meals and special dinners. Twelve years to the day of his son’s birth the bulldozers plowed into his home, destroying his family’s shelter, possessions and security. As the camera attempts to record the effect of this devastation, to read his emotions, he raises his hands gently: “What are we supposed to do now?”

Fida Qishta, a young Palestinian filmmaker and journalist from Rafah in Gaza has documented the horrific Israeli invasion and bombardment of Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009. Working with her crew of young Gazans, they have kept the cameras rolling for months, recording the struggle of the people of Gaza to retrieve some sense of normalcy from the absolute abnormality of life in the world’s largest prison camp, sealed off on all sides by Israeli and Egyptian walls, barbed wire and military.
For the million and a half Palestinians trapped in Gaza, ducks in a shooting gallery for Israeli tanks, planes and artillery, where is the hope?

This story reveals the resilience of the human spirit, as the farmers, fishermen, merchants, school children, teachers and medical workers find ways to snatch a semblance of normality from this insanity. But what happens when the abnormal becomes normal? What happens when children grow up among the rubble of their homes and cities, when they face the future as orphans colored by the memory of their parents violent deaths?
The camera records young men engaging in a new, extremely dangerous sport of building (and rubble( jumping, perhaps drawn from the latest James Bond film. A rap music group is formed and quickly becomes popular. Ways to contain, express anger and frustration?

“Perhaps talking to the camera kindles hope. Maybe someone will hear. Maybe Americans will listen to our stories, know who we are. Maybe they can help us understand why this is happening and what we can do now.”

Not for individual sale. Only available as part of the series 'None'.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Get down underground on a tour of the tunnels that run under the old town of Jerusalem

Get down underground on a tour of the tunnels that run under the old town of Jerusalem where Israel takes groups of tourists to push its version of history. Despite the fact that no real proof has been found of the existence of Solomon's Temple, the Temple Mount, see a mock dummy of the temple placed in the tunnel and used by tour guides to push assumptions about where it used to be. We will take you all the way to where The Islamic Waqf (keepers of Al Aqsa Mosque Compound that includes the Dome of the Rock) has blocked Israeli excavations to protect the Holy Site from damage. They managed to do so after riots broke out in 1996 in which 90 Palestinians were killed in what became known as the "Tunnels Intifada"; the result of Israel's attempt to dig under the Aqsa compound. Soon after going into the tunnels, and after hearing what was being said, the Israeli security prohibits the Sleepless Crew from using professional cameras and Ashira from talking! The crew then used a tourist video camera and completed the job in low resolution; Ashira never stopped talking! Please excuse the quality of video after we switch to an amateur camera. FROM GAZA: Thirsty? Grab some empty bottles of water and head to the Khan Younis municipality's water treatment station! Prefer politically motivated water services instead? Join Eman at a small desalination plant run by the Salafi Islamic Movement that provides free water to societies, schools and certain neighborhoods!