Crossposted with permission from Jewish Peace News
Jewish Peace News
Yoni Goodman, the director of animation for the movie “Waltz with Bashir,” created a very short film called “Closed Zone” to illustrate the effects of closure in Gaza. For the last 18 months, Israel has maintained a siege of Gaza, strictly limiting who and what enters or exits the small & overcrowded strip of land. (Despite having withdrawn the Jewish settlers from Gaza in 2005, Israel maintains control over Gaza’s land, air and water borders, including indirect control over the Rafah border with Egypt.) This 1.5 minute film takes the perspective of an individual and shows what that closure looks like through his eyes. [See video below]
The film was created for the organization Gisha: Legal Center for the Freedom of Movement, which is an Israeli human rights organization dedicated to protecting the freedom of movement for Palestinians. Their website is accessible and informative, with excellent reports on, among other things, the struggle to open Gaza’s borders for aid and rebuilding materials and on the status of Gaza’s students, trapped in Gaza and prevented from attending to their studies. http://www.gisha.org/
“Closed Zone” has garnered some media attention: Huffington Post and Ha’aretz wrote about it, with the Ha’aretz article pointing out Egypt’s role in controlling the Rafah border. The film shows Egypt being pressured by Israel to keep the Rafah border closed. (The Ha’aretz article is here: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1068622.html.)
Sarah Anne Minkin
Lincoln Shlensky adds:
It is notable that with the release of this animated short the animator (Yoni Goodman), and not the director (Ari Folman), of “Waltz with Bashir” makes the historical connection between the Sabra and Shatila massacre and the present Israeli occupation. Folman’s feature film, as others have pointed out, avoids any explicit discussion or analysis of this crucial historical link, and so the film feels politically disengaged from the present political context (and from what we now know of the strategic aims and historical consequences of Israel’s 1982 Lebanon invasion). Jeffrey Skoller, who teaches film studies at the University of California, Berkeley, has argued that Folman’s film therefore seems to be engaged in an extended act of mourning for Israelis, but hardly for Palestinians, and so ends up being largely self-serving. Goodman’s short new film is surprisingly devoid of context as well, leaving it to the viewer to understand and fill in the history of Palestinian dispossession that gives context to his “everyman” character’s feeling of being walled in from all sides in Gaza.
Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement calls on the State of Israel to fully open Gaza’s crossings and to allow the real victims of the closure – 1.5 million human beings – the freedom of movement necessary to realize their dreams and aspirations.
For more information visit: http://www.closedzone.com
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