By Mohamed JABALY

FIRST HAND FILMS - as SALES All rights, World / PROD

Documentary - Completed 2015

An honest, straight and raw first-person account of the last war in Gaza in the summer of 2014. Mohamed Jabaly, a young man from Gaza City, joins an ambulance crew as war approaches, looking for his place in a country under siege, where at times there seems to be no foreseeable future.

    • Year of production
    • 2015
    • Genres
    • Documentary
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • ARABIC
    • Duration
    • 59 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Mohamed JABALY
    • Producer(s)
    • John Arvid BERGER
    • Synopsis
    • Mohamed, 24, aspires to make films in Gaza City, despite the lack of water, electricity, and closed borders that are part of every ‘normal’ day under the 7-year Israeli blockade of Gaza. While many young people dream of leaving Gaza, Mohamed wants to help. When he hears the news of a new Israeli offensive on Gaza in July 2014 he decides he cannot merely ‘wait for death’ but must do something and joins an ambulance crew to document the war.

      Mohamed comes of age among broken bodies, terrified families, and the constant risk of sudden death. He has never witnessed the effects of violence up-close. Within the first few days of war, he finds himself helping victims of a massacre. It felt like being in the middle of a theatre play. I saw blood. I tasted the pain in the eyes of women, fear in the faces of children. To whom could I show these images that are not merely images?

      The ambulance team is led by captain Abu Marzouq who saved lives in many of Gaza’s wars. At first, the captain is intense and a little intimidating, not much of a talker, and each day Abu Marzouq and the crew are at the eye of the storm. When four 9-year old boys are hit by a missile on Gaza Beach, they are one of the first ambulance crews on the scene. Mohamed cannot tell his family what he’s going through. He begins to feel close to his crewmates, who joke and encourage one another despite the fear. Abu Marzouq takes Mohamed into his confidence, and Mohamed discovers a man full of life and love for his co-workers.

      The turning point comes when Mohamed and his team are hit by a bomb while inside a building. Abo Marzouq is injured and while waiting to find out if he is going to be ok, Mohamed struggles with despair and the urge to run away. Was this really worth it? I felt like running away, but there was nowhere to run.