Tears of Gaza

Depressed Nation Under Fire


19 September 2012| No Comments on Tears of Gaza     by Sean Chavel


Explicit and heart-shattering. Once you come up from shaky emotions, Tears of Gaza is ultimately a privilege of seeing rarely documented human atrocities in the depressed Palestinian territory. I can imagine why most people wouldn’t be able to bear watching this film, at least, not without steering their eyes away. Children and women are repeatedly bomb survivor victims. We see the emergency room footage with understaffed doctors hectically moving from one “patient” to the next, some unconscious and some crying hysterically. We are observing flayed human flesh. We see the corpses, too. This is tough and maybe unbearable, but we are seeing images of significant world importance that is absent from cable television news.

You can argue that the editing is haphazard, sometimes it is without a traditional goal. We see variety of raw footage episodes, clearly captured on tape, laid out in somewhat chronological order following events of 2008 and 2009. No jittery, shaky-cams. Real stuff, horrific, raw and agonizing. The enemy is a coward – the bombing raids went on for months without a foot invasion, simply shell-bombing civilians and their homes. Was the goal to air them out of the city?

Before we get to the war footage, we have about twenty minutes or so of exposition, of general daily life, some interviews with real people. Particularly memorable is the interview of one young man on his wedding day. He is in debt and with all his family killed in the years of war, he has no one to ask for help. Maybe if he gets better work after the marriage he can pay off his debt within a year. That would require luck, he suggests. He says that perhaps he will be in debt for the rest of his life and there would be nothing he can do about it. He’s a handsome young man expecting he will have to toil away for his life’s duration.

Why would anyone want to invade Gaza anyway, a depressed region with a cap-sized economy that is also arid and hot desert region? We don’t get up close and personal with Israelis, who are felt are in presence but are not seen (we see their tanks and figures behind other arsenal). With more audacity, Norwegian filmmaker Vibeke Lokkeberg could have dissected the problem by unmasking British imperialism from decades ago as the core catalyst that led to the conflict – the Palestinian region was divided up, and now the Israelis wants to reclaim lost soil they now claim is theirs. The casualties of the young is sickening.

Read interview with filmmaker Vibeke Lokkeberg: click here.

82 Minutes. Unrated.


Film Cousins: “Night and Fog” (1955); “Lessons of Darkness” (1995); “The Fog of War” (2003); “No End in Sight” (2007).


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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of flickminute.com, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.


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