directed by James Longley
American documentary filmmaker James Longley traveled to the Gaza Strip in January of 2001, planning to stay for two weeks and collect preliminary material for a film about the Palestinian intifada. He threw away his return ticket and stayed for another 3 months, shooting over 75 hours of material throughout the Gaza Strip.
Gaza Strip follows a range of people and events following the election of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, including the first major armed incursion into “Area A” by IDF forces during this intifada. The film is filmed almost entirely in a verite style, presented without narration and with little explanation, focusing on ordinary Palestinians rather than politicians and pundits. More observation than political argument, Gaza Strip offers a rare look inside the stark realities of Palestinian life and death under Israeli military occupation.
“This documentary is vastly revealing … and it’s bigger than a summer blockbuster, more important than all our movie stars or the academy awards …”
“… well-made and harrowing documentary … you can understand my desperate desire not to believe what I was seeing.”
– Jordan Hiller, www.bangitout.com
“… offering sequences that could rival Bunuel or Fellini … one of the most important documentaries of recent times.”
– Phil Hall, Film Threat
“The absence of voice-over narration and talking-head interviews gives his portrait of daily life under duress a riveting immediacy … in the best verite tradition, there are moments in ”Gaza Strip” that disclose a wrenching human reality deeper and more basic than any politics.”
– A. O. Scott, The New York Times
“An unflinchingly honest portrayal of a population under siege. As a perspective that is largely excluded from American attention, it deserves the widest possible audience.”
– Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
“Longley has presented convincing evidence that the Israeli occupation has created criminal and dehumanizing conditions for the people of the Gaza Strip. One would hope that this documentary would be broadcast on American television to reach the largest possible audience.”
– Pamela Nice, AlJadid
Gaza Strip – official film website