Monday, July 14, 2008

Death in Gaza (2004)

There is some amazing footage in this documentary and the filmmakers were able to get very close to many people who are directly involved in the conflict, close enough for Israeli soldiers to shoot and kill the director during a night raid. But despite being very sympathetic towards Palestinian children and other innocent victims, they seem to pin most of the blame on the paramilitaries, as if they are just naturally bloodthirsty and suicidal. There are many statements in the narration of the form "The Palestinians have been doing A, so Israel must respond with B." Really? Didn't anything important happen before A? Just look at the poster: Militants, Suicide Bombers, Innocent Victims. Can you think of anything that's missing from that list? The film is full of disturbing and depressing scenes. Masked men teach 12-year old Achmed how to hold a rocket launcher, Ahmed's friend Mohammed tells us that he hopes they are both martyred at the same time, and young girls discuss the impossibility of peace with Israel under any circumstances. Certainly, much of this behavior and this kind of talk is to be condemned. But let us also condemn any government that believes it can stop terrorism with brutal and indiscriminate retaliation.

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