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Death in Gaza (2004)

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In the Spring of 2003, filmmaker James Miller and reporter Saira Shah, the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning duo behind the Afghanistan documentaries UNHOLY WAR and BENEATH THE VEIL, traveled to the Gaza Strip to look inside the lives of children growing up in a war-torn world of unremitting violence, death, and racial and religious hatred.

The documentary examines the lives of 12-year-old Ahmed; his best friend, Mohammad; and Najila, a 16-year-old girl who lives in a particularly dangerous neighborhood surrounded by Israeli sniper towers. Though Mohammad's mother makes a desperate plea for peace, the boys throw rocks at Israeli tanks, build homemade bombs, and are recruited by a paramilitary group.

Meanwhile, Israeli tanks roll into Najila's neighborhood, crushing and exploding homes in a search for militants.The documentarians intended to follow up the portrait of the Palestinian children with a look into the lives of Israeli children living under the threat of terrorist attacks, but then, while waving a white flag of peace, James Miller was gunned down by Israeli tanks, dying instantly. Shah returned alone to edit their footage. The result is a harrowing, intimate, and deeply moving film that tells the terrible story of life and death in the Gaza Strip.

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Films For Action is a community-powered, digital library for people who want to change the world.

 

Our mission is to provide citizens with the knowledge and perspectives essential to creating a more beautiful, just, sustainable, and democratic society.

Films For Action was founded in 2006 by a few friends in Lawrence, Kansas, after realizing how essential a healthy media is to a healthy democracy.

Although we started out hosting community film screenings in the beginning and did so for many years, our digital library eventually became our primary focus. 

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“Independent media is dangerous because it allows people to speak for themselves. And when you hear someone speaking from their own experience - whether it's a Palestinian child or an Israeli grandmother or an uncle in Afghanistan or a refugee in the Calais refugee camp - it changes you. It breaks the sound barrier. It challenges the stereotypes and the caricatures that fuel the hate groups. You may not agree with what you hear - I mean, how often do we even agree with our family members? - but you begin to understand where they're coming from. That understanding is the beginning of peace. I really do think that the media can be the greatest force for peace on Earth. Instead, all too often, it is wielded as a weapon of war. We have to take the media back.” - Amy Goodman, Place to B at COP21