Search - Death in Gaza on DVD

Death in Gaza
Death in Gaza
Actor: Saira Shah
Genres: Documentary
NR     2006     1hr 20min



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Movie Details

Actor: Saira Shah
Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: Documentary
Studio: Hbo Home Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 02/21/2006
Original Release Date: 01/01/2004
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2004
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 20min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: Arabic, English, Hebrew

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Movie Reviews

"Martyrdom makes many promises ..."
anomie | 12/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"British filmmaker James Miller traveled to Palestine in 2003 to make a documentary about the affect of violence on the lives of Palestinian children. He also planned to make a companion film about Israeli children. Tragically, Miller was shot and killed by Israeli forces in Rafah while making his documentary. Consequently, the film's focus was diverted from its initial purpose. What remains is a film that is partially a tribute to the bravery and commitment of Miller, and partially a story about the poisoned lives of children growing up in Palestine.

The camera captures the atmosphere of the streets. Walls are covered with posters of militants and those killed in the conflict. When the sun sets, there's an unearthly scene as the street vendors disappear and then "paramilitaries come out at night using the dead to recruit more militants." Of course, those recruited are usually young males--some still in childhood. In one horrific scene, Saira Shah--also the film's narrator--is brave enough to interview some hooded Palestinian paramilitaries who are grooming Ahmed, a young boy to join their ranks. The paramilitaries play games with the boy and the games slide into teaching him how to hold a rocket grenade launcher. When Shah asks if it is moral to recruit young children to be terrorists, the hooded paramilitary member strokes the boy's head and chillingly responds, "don't worry about responsibility, sister, we're men, when we say goodbye to Ahmed, there are 1000s more like him."

The film shows quite clearly that children on the streets of Palestine are well aware of imminent death and that their lives are irrevocably altered by their day-to-day existence--it is common for children to write letters to their families in case they are killed. "Death in Gaza" cannot be labeled as 'pro' or 'con' either side of this mess, and the film's position is strongly anti-violence. What a tragedy that James Miller was killed, and what a loss that we will never see his intended companion piece film--displacedhuman"
Death in Gaza
P.K. Ryan | Albany, NY USA | 03/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This documentary is both extremely sad and extremely powerful. I first saw Death in Gaza when it originally aired on HBO a couple years ago. Since then, I've periodically searched for it to no avail. When I found out would be carrying it, I immediately purchased it. This is a must-see for anyone interested in Middle East politics or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is both heart-breaking and disturbing to see what reality is for so many. One of the most moving scenes for me is the funerals for the martyrs. Some are crying, some are chanting militant anthems, and a man on a megaphone incites the people to Jihad. "We must continue the struggle until victory or martyrdom" he urges, his voice reverberating while an eerie soundtrack plays in the background. Seeing the impact on the children is also difficult to watch. This is a reality that should be seen by all."
The making of martyrs . . .
Ronald Scheer | Los Angeles | 10/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This film about life among young Palestinians packs the usual punch of HBO documentaries. Celebrated British filmmakers Miller and Shah get as close to the skirmishes directed against Israeli troops as possible, capturing footage that refuses to turn away from the human cost of this particular kind of urban warfare. It is high-risk filmmaking, and we know from the start that Miller is killed by Israeli gunfire before the shooting of the film is completed.

Viewers not familiar with the Palestinian resistance will be shocked by the impact that fear and hatred of the Israelis has made upon the youngest generation - the boys flinging rocks at Israeli tanks, who have come under the influence of masked, gun-wielding insurgents. We meet two young boys, close friends, who manufacture explosives, and an older girl who has lost several members of her family and weeps at yet another funeral. The romance of martyrdom overwhelms their youthful world as a welcomed though not fully understood prospect.

There is little resolution to the powerlessness the viewer can feel watching this film, and those sympathetic with the Israeli side of the equation will find it represented by distant, menacing armed figures in military uniforms or moving through the streets in tanks - objects to be feared, scorned, and hated. And as the film represents this ongoing struggle, there seems to be no end in sight. Worth seeing as a look behind the daily news from that part of the troubled world."
Depressing but Effective
Amos Lassen | Little Rock, Arkansas | 07/03/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Death in Gaza"

Depressing but Effective

Amos Lassen

"Death in Gaza" is an eye opening look at one of the most troubled areas in the world--the Gaza Strip. It is a documentary by James Miller, a British filmmaker, who was killed by Israeli forces while making the film which was shown on HBO. Miller shows us here the nihilism of war and while making the film he became a martyr for this. Miller thought that he was making a movie about the indoctrination of Arab children into the belief of martyrdom; he did not know that he was making a film about his own death. It is his Miller's death that gives this film its context.
I am sure that many of us have wondered what causes some kids to grow up to be suicide bombers and this film shows us why. The film emphasizes the gritty horror and desperation of what has become the Palestinian world. It is hard to see what this film shows and we see man's inhumanity to man (and I write this after having served in the Israeli army). "Death in Gaza" shows that evil brings about more evil and that it comes in cycles and will continue to take innocent lives on both sides if compassion and truth do not come to the fore and finally win over evil.
We can agree that there is nothing that can justify the actions of suicide bombers on Israeli citizens but we do forget that the bombers themselves gave their lives for what they believed. In many cases they grew up in poverty and were taught nothing but propaganda in their schools and villages. They have seen their friends and family members killed in front of them by the IDF and they have been forced to attend celebrations of martyrdom which take place around filled coffins of dead people. It is no surprise that there are so many human bombs available.
The film is one-sided however. If Miller had lived, we would have had the Israeli view as well but he was shot in the neck and died almost instantly during an Israeli raid.
It makes no difference which side you support--this is a thought provoking and very sad documentary as it looks at the daily reality of the Israel/Palestine conflict. The endless cycle of hatred and violence on both sides is a horrible tragedy and with this movie we go right into it. It is difficult to watch but it must be seen. It is NOT propaganda but a fair look at something that we have a hard time comprehending. Miller paid the highest price for this film and like the title "Death in Gaza" is about death--the death of innocence, the death of truth, the death of hope but unfortunately not the death of evil.