by Irfan Tramboo
‘Death in Gaza’ directed and filmed by James Miller—a Frost Bite Films production, of duration 1hr and 20 minutes has been written by Saira Shah. The documentary has tried to raise the issues of children which are caught in between the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. During the process of filming, the director is shot dead by the Israeli forces. The documentary has touched some important aspects of this conflict and those include the impact of different ideologies flourishing on the ground—the physical trauma and the psychological effects of such brutal and bloody conflicts on the minds of the children.
Israel-Palestinian conflict, which is now more than 50 years old conflict, has consumed numerous lives on the both sides and the same continues to date. With every passing day the hostility is increasing with no end to the casualties. This conflict in the Middle East has also inspired many other resistance movements going on in various other countries of the world especially the Muslim ones. The term like Intifada has inspired various movements throughout the world and was first coined in Palestine.
The documentary has been filmed in West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The documentary has got various characters which are diverse and which have been affected differently by the conflict. How they have been physically traumatized and psychologically affected—the characters which have been chosen describe that well. The documentary has presented those characters that have seen the death and destruction with their own eyes. It can be noticed while watching the documentary that the characters are aware much of atrocities and miseries inflicted on them by the Israeli forces and the smell or revenge is present in every word they speak. It could be seen in their eyes as well.
This documentary has presented the harmful effects of any conflict (in this case Israel-Palestine conflict), especially on children. It has also tried to show how different ideologies emotionally blackmail this young brains¬, like the character Ahmed, a twelve years old boy, shown as working as an informer to the paramilitaries—that’s the worst part of it. The determination of these children to move on and resist was the best part of this documentary—depicting courage and steadfastness. This documentary would have been outstanding if Miller would have been able to film the other part, which would have included the Israeli children as well, but unfortunately that didn’t happen.
The documentary is worth to be watched especially for those who are living in a conflict zone, in order to understand how the children caught in conflict are affected from all the sides—psychologically and physically.
Author studies at Media Education Research Centre (MERC) Kashmir University, can be mailed at [email protected]