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Review: Gaza

June 21, 2019

By John Corrado

★★★½ (out of 4)

Filmmakers Garry Keane and Andrew McConnell offer a compelling portrait of everyday life in the Gaza Strip in their beautifully shot documentary Gaza.

A strip of land along the Eastern Coast of the Mediterranean Sea that borders both Israel and Egypt and is claimed by Palestine, the Gaza Strip is home to some nearly two million people, who are essentially locked in between the two borders, and living at the mercy of Hamas.

The film’s subjects include a family of fishermen trying to make a living off of what they can catch from the Mediterranean Sea, a cab driver chatting with people as he drives them around the city, and a young woman who is learning to play the cello and yearns of being able to know true freedom.

Regardless of where you personally stand on the politics surrounding this land, Gaza is a fascinating, challenging and visually arresting look at the conflict from a purely human angle. The film’s most remarkable achievement is that it allows us to have compassion for people first and foremost, which means that the violent conflicts when we do see them have more of an impact. The stories and images that Keane and McConnell have captured are often exceptional, and feel uniquely cinematic.

Gaza is now playing in limited release at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema in Toronto, tickets and showtimes can be found right here.

A version of this review was originally published during the 2019 Hot Docs Film Festival.

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