Haaretz, March 4, 2009 - An animator of the celebrated Israeli war film "Waltz with Bashir" has illustrated a new film depicting the life of a fictional boy in the Gaza Strip during the Israeli blockade of the coastal territory.
The short film Closed Zone by Yoni Goodman runs only a minute and a half and was created for the NGO Gisha, a group devoted to freedom of movement.
A spokesman for Gisha said that "though the use of a single animated character, Goodman tries to cause the viewer to feel empathy for the people of Gaza and see them as they are - a million and a half people who only want to live out their ambitions and dreams, something they cannot do because of their ability to move freely."
Goodman said that when making the film, "it was very important for me to create a character that anyone can connect to. I hope that when people see the movie, they will be able to detach themselves from the automatic view of good or bad.
Goodman was a main animator for Ari Foldman's "Waltz with Bashir" which won a Golden Globe for best foreign film and a nomination for an Academy Award in the same category, but lost out to the Japanese film "Departures".
Watch the Making of Closed Zone
Despite declarations that it has "disengaged" from the Gaza Strip, Israel maintains control of the Strip's overland border crossings, territorial waters, and air space. This includes substantial, albeit indirect, control of the Rafah Crossing.
During the past 18 months, Israel tightened its closure of Gaza, almost completely restricting the passage of goods and people both to and from the Strip.
These policies punish innocent civilians with the goal of exerting pressure on the Hamas government, violating the rights of 1.5 million people who seek only to live ordinary lives – to be reunited with family, to pursue higher education, to receive quality medical treatment, and to earn a living.
The effects of the closure were particularly harsh during the military operation of Dec. 2008 - Jan. 2009. For three weeks, Gaza residents had nowhere to flee to escape the bombing.
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.