Dabke With Ismail
The makers of the Oscar-nominated “Waltz with Bashir” released a short on the life of a Gazan boy living under Israeli siege. It artistically represents the Gaza blockade by contrasting a free bird with an imprisoned Palestinian boy, who has no place to hide from Israeli bombardment.
Yoni Goodman, the Israeli director of Waltz and Closed Zone, said he hoped the 90-second animated short would draw attention to the plight of Gaza’s civilians.
“People talk about Hamas, but there are many civilians there who are not Hamas supporters but who are suffering from this blockade,” the animator said.
The film notably shows the Palestinian rockets flying first, which provokes a clearly disproportionate attack — many explosions hit around the child as he seeks shelter. This is not a fully fair representations since Israel’s embargo began before any rockets were flying.
Interestingly, Zone shows an Egyptian hand at the Rafah border being held down by an Israeli hand (as identified by the colors on their cuffs). This is only partially correct. Egyptian policy towards Gaza is also the fruit of Egypt pursuing its own self-interests; by weakening Hamas, it hopes to stave off the Muslim Brotherhood, for instance.
Regardless, this is a thought-provoking and artistic video. I hope it does not lose too much meaning in the abstraction, even if it is pretty clear from my Gazan perspective.