a dream in Gaza


Al Ard Doc Film Festival Cagliari, Italy 2016
P21 Gallery London, UK 2015
Visionaria International Film Festival Castelnuovo Berardenga (Siena), Italy 2015
Sakakini Cultural Center Ramallah, Palestine 2015


26:13 min, 2015  music Le Trio Joubran

short version, 9:59 min, 2015 music Le Trio Joubran



short version, 9:59 min / full-lenght 26:13 min, 2015
shooting and editing
Franca Marini
music  Le Trio Joubran  Dawwar El Shams, Masâr
Mohammad Assaf  sings  El Zena Lebset Kholkhal 
with Fahid Dawood

Rabii El Gamrani, Emad Shuman, Izzat Zaid and Heather Holloran
software support Claudio Bruttini

Fahid Dawood and his family, Meri Calvelli, Mohammed Rajab
Jafra and Freerun Gaza for frames from Parkour on the Rubble of Gaza

footage shot in December 2014-January 2015 in the Gaza Strip
during the 1° Italia Gaza-Festival created and organized by Meri Calvelli
Italian Center for cultural Exchange Vik of Gaza



"a dream in Gaza" was filmed in December 2014-January 2015 in the Gaza Strip, approximately four months after the Israeli military offensive Operation Protective Edge, the third the civilian population have been subjected since the end of 2008.
The signs of the destructive fury are still there, intact and unmoving and seem to seek to frustrate any attempt to move towards the future. In the air there is an inexplicable mixture of war and life, a latent tension, like storm which could suddenly break, like a precarious balance between life and death. An 18 year old boy dreams of freedom, the redemption of his own and his family's fate through Parkour, which he practices with passion and determination.
"a dream in Gaza" is the representation of a catastrophic and violent event but also of hope for a different life. Fahid represents a universal human condition, that of those who manage to oppose the most barbaric violence and the violation of their fundamental human rights with endurance, imagination and love of life.
The video opens with a series of close-ups of the protagonist, in his face the signs of the anguish and terror caused by the traumas suffered which, still unhealed,  he relives in his memory. In the words that flow and in the images that follow emerge an awareness of the harshness of his existence but they also bear his vitality and determination in the struggle to realize his dream: a dream of freedom which is not an attempt to escape from reality but rather a representation of its possible transformation.
Franca Marini, April 2015

ideas, meaning and construction
"a dream in Gaza" is neither a documentary nor a short film but a work of video art characterized by the evocative power of images, words, sounds, silences. Its structure emerged in parallel with its development without reference to a story or to a preconceived text. Equally unplanned was the meeting with the young protagonist  who became in the editing phase the central focus of the work, which does not, however, narrate or describe his life but rather represents his emotional perception of life, the shades of the feelings of his internal world, as well as  his determination not to give in to a destiny without a future.
His image takes on a universal character despite being set in the context of a precise location - the Gaza Strip, the largest open-air prison in the world, an area strewn with wars and devastation. He comes to represent the human yearning for freedom, the rejection of  violence and of the annihilation of the person, the self or others.
The opening minutes introduce the main themes of the video: the trauma of war and destruction, the strength and vitality of the protagonist as we see him come running over rubble and ruins. A slow development follows which extends beyond the central part, dominated by dark shades, earth tones, gray, light and shadow.
The words rolling by are thoughts flowing without stopping, incessant as the movement of waves on the sea, sometimes repeated, sometimes lost, only to re-emerge. Suddenly, a change of scene: the light breaks through the darkness and with it the joy of living. As if in a dream, somersaults and leaps of happiness alternate with brush strokes of color by female hands. Fast fragments of everyday life then flash past, seen through eyes now open to the reality of the protagonist. A sand storm hits the city and the coast, a metaphor for other storms, lightning that can strike and destroy a life. The final scene opens on a stormy sea but with a horizon finally clear.
There remains unabated the hope for a truly different life.
Franca Marini, October 2015