Screened as part of our Afternoon of Student and Documentary Shorts

#1 – Going to Fish, Going to War
The first in a series entitled Inessential (Gaza in Three Pieces), this short film records a Gazan fisherman describing the Israeli-imposed economic stranglehold that threatens his livelihood. Once among the proudest and most skilled population within Palestinian society, Gaza’s fishermen are now its poorest. Israel has drastically reduced the nautical miles in which fishermen can make their living, leaving them with nothing to fish and little to do. In this short piece, Hussam al-Habash, a member of the fishermen’s syndicate, describes life under the siege, and common harassment and shooting incidents against Palestinian fishermen.

#2 – The Air Closes In On Us
The second in a series entitled Inessential (Gaza in Three Pieces), this short film features farmers relating the effects of Israeli blockades on their ability to farm. Long crippled by the effects of Israeli bulldozing, shelling, and sanctions, the farms of Beit Hanoun, located just four miles from Israel, have been shut down. An eerie silence punctuated by occasional Israeli strikes envelops the farm.

#3 – The Mahmoud Family
The third in a series entitled Inessential (Gaza in Three Pieces) documents the Mahmouds, a family of seven living in Bureij Refugee Camp. The medical infrastructure in Gaza is unable to adequately support the medical needs of Mounir and his sons. The family tries to live as normal a life as possible, between power cuts and aerial strikes.

Director Maryam Monalisa Gharavi visited Gaza and filmed Inessential in January 2008. She has written/directed several short films, including Psychosomatic (2005) Dreams of Wingless Flight (2003) and All About My Lover (2002). She worked on feature film projects Situation Room #2 (2005) with NY-based director Steve Staso, Security (2005) with Cannes/Sundance-winning director Rob Nilsson, and most recently on the PBS television documentary Stand Up: Muslim American Comics Come of Age (2008). She has screened her work at the Pacific Film Archive, Women of Color Film Festival, Anthology Film Archive, among others. Currently she is a doctoral candidate in Comparative Literature and Film and Visual Studies at Harvard University.