Sunday, April 12, 2009

New Documentary, "One Of..." Wins Documentary Competition in Gaza

Art work by Majed Shala - "this makes me think of the martyred medical workers"

In Gaza blog, April 11, 2009 - Tuesday April 7 was World Health Day, an annual recognition of global health issues, sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO). In honour of the day, Palestinians in Gaza hosted a short-documentary competition highlighting health issues Gazans face, with specific attention to medical care in Gaza during attacks or emergencies. The 2009 theme of the WHO is “Save lives: Making hospitals safe in emergencies”. This seems like hindsight, after Gaza endured Israel’s 3 week war in which Israeli forces actively targeted over 70 hospitals and medical clinics, along with 10s of ambulances damaged or destroyed.

16 medics were killed while in the line of duty, and another 36 medical workers, including ambulance drivers, paramedics, doctors and volunteer medical workers were injured. Israeli forces targeted the medics under the pretext of security reasons, an excuse which has been repeatedly contradicted by the testimonies of medical and emergency workers, as well as patients themselves.

Emad Badwan, a young Palestinian film-maker, decided to highlight such Israeli attacks. His documentary, “One of…” took first prize in the competition held in Gaza’s burnt-out al Quds hospital, one of the hospitals greatly-damaged after repeated Israeli shelling, including with white phosphorous. On display on the 2nd floor of al Quds are a number of vivid photographs testifying to the blaze and Israel’s attacks. Artwork in the shelled and charred cultural centre further depicts life under, and the aftermath of, Israel’s war on Gaza. [see: Art in the Ruins]

As his theme, Emad chose the sniper-shooting of Hassan al Attal, a paramedic whose ambulance I was riding in at the time. The event occurred on January 7th, the first day when Israel declared a ‘cease-fire’ period (during which, in theory, Palestinians could move, buy groceries, leave their homes without fear of attack. In reality, these ‘ceasefire’ periods meant nothing, and many were injured and killed by the IOF during these ‘ceasefires’)....

Read the full article at the link. Watch "One of..." below. View other films by Emad Badwan here.

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