“Where should we go after the last frontiers? Where should the birds fly after the last sky? Where should the plants sleep after the last breath of air?” - Mahmoud Darwish A young girl sits among the rubble of her family home. She speaks of the many people she knows who have been killed, swept up in the swirl of bombs and tanks devouring the city. When asked if she lost many family members, she simply 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. It is 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. On his son’s twelfth birthday, 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, a town on the border of the Gaza Strip and Egypt, has documented the horrific Israeli invasion and bombardment of Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009. She and her crew of young Gazans 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-jumping (and rubble-jumping), perhaps drawn from the latest James Bond film. A rap music group is formed and quickly becomes popular. The marginalized voices of Palestinians young and old scream for ways to contain and express their 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.” This is a story that needs to be heard, especially as Palestine continues its struggle for the sovereignty and human rights they have been denied for so long. Fida’s film is a moving, powerful documentary – please donate to help her finish the project! Tax-deductible donations can be made at here (http://www.deepdishtv.org/ProgramDetail/Default.aspx?id=3520) and at our upcoming KickStarter campaing- check back soon for details and links. Press: http://mondoweiss.net/2010/07/fida-qishtas-film-about-gaza.html http://grittv.org/2010/09/04/got-docs-where-should-the-birds-fly/
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