Video: Tears of Gaza

An extraordinary, internationally acclaimed documentary about impact of the 2008 Gaza bombings on civilians and children, by filmmaker Vibeke Løkkeberg. After watching news reports from her home in Norway, Løkkeberg attempted to gain access to Gaza to report on events there, but discovered first-hand that international journalists were barred from entering the area. The denial of access further impelled her to report on the story, and she proceeded to gather raw footage from Palestinian cameramen and eye-witnesses living in Gaza who recorded bombings on smart phones.

The result is an indelible cinematic experience and historical document that has been selected to screen at prestigious international film festivals including Toronto, Jerusalem, Abu Dhabi, Doha Tribeca, Transylvania, Melbourne, IDFA and Filmfest DC.

Disturbing, powerful and emotionally devastating, TEARS OF GAZA is less a conventional documentary than a record — presented with minimal gloss — of the 2008 to 2009 bombing of Gaza by the Israeli military. Photographed by several Palestinian cameramen both during and after the offensive, this powerful film by director Vibeke Løkkeberg focuses on the impact of the attacks on the civilian population.

The film shuttles between the actual bombings and the aftermath on the streets and in the hospitals. The footage of the bombs landing is indelible and horrifying, but it is on par with much of the explicit imagery on hand. White phosphorous bombs rain over families and children, leaving bodies too charred to be identified. The footage here is extremely graphic and includes children’s bodies being pulled from ruins. Recounting the horrors she has witnessed, one young girl collapses and sinks out of the frame.

Years of economic embargo have left the area deprived of resources and have strained an already impoverished infrastructure. The wounded are carried to hospital for lack of ambulances, and an absence of fire trucks leaves homeowners to put out fires on their own. What’s immediately apparent is that decades of military activity have made the population angry, nihilistic and vengeful. As one young boy says, “Even if they give us the world, we will not forget.”

Løkkeberg contrasts these scenes with footage of bachelor parties, weddings and visits to the beach — social activities that epitomize daily life in Gaza during more peaceful times. Tears of Gaza makes no overriding speeches or analyses. The situation leading up to the incursion is never mentioned. While this strategy may antagonize some, it’s a useful method for highlighting the effects of the violence on the civilian population. Similar events certainly occurred in Dresden, Tokyo, Baghdad and Sarajevo, but of course Gaza isn’t those places. A tear of Gaza demands that we examine the costs of war on a civilian populace. The result is horrifying, gut‐wrenching and unforgettable.

The documentary “Tears of Gaza” shows the suffering inflicted by Israel upon the people of Gaza, Palestine during the Israeli Operation Cast Lead Massacre, an Israeli invasion that was one of the most horrific culmination in history of massacres, war crimes and crimes against humanity against a civilian Palestinian population of Gaza. More than 1400 Palestinians died, of which 400 were children. Over 5000 Palestinians were severely wounded and crippled for life.

Copyright Disclaimer under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976 Fair Use Statement for Tears of Gaza

We are making the “Tears of Gaza”, available in an effort to advance understanding of political, human rights, democracy and social justice issues, news reporting, teaching, and scholarship. This is done for no personal reason or personal financial gain and only as fair comment and communication to document and disseminate the written words, pictures and audio-video as well as the TRUTH which is sorely lacking today especially in America, much of Europe and Israel.

Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “FAIR USE” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, activism and research. FAIR USE is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favour of FAIR USE.

Tears of Gaza has been uploaded in good faith as fair comment for no personal reason or financial gain and only as fair communication to document and disseminate to the public to my family, relatives and friends and anyone else who is looking for truthful knowledge. The “Tears of Gaza” must not be banned.

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