Fri. Feb 21 2020

Epic, honest, damning: Gaza Fights for Freedom

(A review of Abby Martin's ground-breaking docu-film about Gaza)

Aug 22 2019

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I thought i knew Gaza. Then I watched Abby Martin's epic one-year-in-the-making documentary, and I realised, I knew nothing. Admitting this doesn't come easy for someone like me: I have dedicated my life to Palestine. In truth, I have been just another foreign bee too far from the hive to ever save the precious honey.

Aside from the gruelling accounts, and the thunder of truths coming from the war-mongered mouths of Israeli generals, Gaza Fights for Freedom is a piece of pure cinematic brilliance — fast-paced, facts-backed and no unnecessary dwelling on the brutal explicities. Beyond this are glorious wide-angle shots of crowd-crunching landscapes, dusty greys and smokey blacks, fishless transparent sea-vistas and a panoramic lack of un-bombed horizons — twenty-five miles of candles, crutches and unyielding courage. No one else could survive this day-on-day carnage. This is the anomaly of being Palestinian.

Eloquently compiled and narrated, there are no leaps or questionable gaps; every slice-of-life flows with a precision that leaves the viewer shaking — we fly passed what-child-was-where when he-or-she was shot in the head, we see the fall of one journalist after another, the gunning-over of the man in the wheelchair, the little boy on his phone, gone, the child with a flag, gone, the 70 year-old grandmother, gone, the two-year old toddler, gone, and onto the cold-blooded kill of Razan al-Najjar, lest we forget. The crimes that israel is committing against the Palestinian people of Gaza — the massacres, the murders, the diets, the diseasing — are the most cold, calculated and despicable acts we will ever witness. Never, in my lifetime, have an entire people been accused of so much wrong-doing by the wrong-doers painting themselves right.

While the film re-motivated me and re-built new solidarity pledges to be better, more effective and damned-well-noisier-if-it's-the-last-thing-I-do, it also emptied me. The inhumanity of Israel is excruciating; foreign, valueless, moral-less, and it's hard to process — it's butcherism. How did we allow it to continue for so long? What have we done. What.. have.. we.. done.

This is a film you cannot ignore. Put simply, it's a must-see, if only to honour our brothers and sisters in Gaza and acknowledge that we truly 'see them'. We, foreign bees, who have let the honey spill, owe them this. Gaza Fights for Freedom is their story, the story of Palestine sand-jarred into an hour and 24 minutes — and not a second goes by that doesn't render Israel naked. I, for one, am witness, and my children, my grandchildren and my great grandchildren will be told. I will tell them everything; everything.

Watch Abby Martin's Gaza Fights for Freedom

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Sarah Wilkinson

Sarah Wilkinson


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