Gaza Reels: Old Movies, New Voices

The Gaza Reels

In how many different ways is it possible to depict a problem that is more than sixty years old? Resistance to the Israeli occupation of Palestine has generated powerful, inventive and creative visual campaigns, and Gaza Reels by animator Anna Shevchenko, is one of the latest in a distinguished line-up.

Why We Like It

Following from the powerful Closed Zone, Gaza Reels describes the continuing blockade of the Gaza Strip despite the recent opening up of the border at Rafah on Gaza's southern border with Egypt, and the only land crossing out of Gaza not controlled by Israel. (The film was also released close to the anniversary of the disastrous May 2010 attack on the Mavi Marmara and the Freedom Flotilla). Gisha's film seeks to challenge the belief that Israel has truly 'disengaged' from Gaza and describes how Gazans still face severe restrictions. Visually, this elegant little film evokes the nostalgia of the Geva News Reels that were shown in Israeli movie theatres in the 1950s and '60s, and is made up of collages of old and new visual motifs and styles. But there is another play on the layering of old and new. The Geva Reels'-style voice-over with it's typically didactic form of address, reminiscent of propaganda films of that earlier cinematic moment, barking the State-ist Quo, is countered by a calmer voice (also speaking in Hebrew) that tells of the lived reality of civilians in Gaza. The second voice is more conversational, gentle and draws out dialogue instead of being commanding.

And there's a curious coda to this story. Early this year before the release of Gaza Reels, Geva Studios that produced the original News Reels was torn down to make way for new high-rise residential apartments. More history written over, written again.

Source: Gaza Mom

Website: Gisha

Year: 2011