Thursday, June 09, 2011

South is South: The Women of Hamas
While preparation for the film began before the 2006 election of Hamas, Arraf found herself unable to travel to work on the film due to the Israeli blockade. She directed her contacts to film without her, and their sensitive eyes and ears capture not only the central narrative—four leading women in the Islamic resistance—but the seldom-seen sensory experience of Gaza. Children too young for the avalanche of traumatic events in their surroundings play together as children everywhere else. Street corners and alleyways are tagged with both politically-motivated graffiti and the solitary hearts of the lovelorn. Arraf combines these scenes with a wonderfully creative use of interviews that distinguishes this film from other ‘Skyped-in’ films I’ve seen. Her discussions and banter (both light and serious) with one crew member in particular, 28-year old Azhar, make for exciting cinema.

Having filmed in Gaza at the height of the Israeli military siege, Arraf’s concerns about finishing her film rang funny and true. Example: ‘If you go the fence and throw the tapes over…’ is considered a serious mailing option in a place where the average DHL shipping service runs $400-500 per package, military interventions notwithstanding.
Suha Arraf Q&A at the BFI.

From the past: Helena Cobban here and here

No comments: