Gaza Surfclub

May 14, 2024 6:00 pm

Hyde Park Picture House, LS6 1JD

Philip Gnadt / Mickey Yamine, 87 min, 2016, Germany

“When I’m in the sea I feel happy and free”.

Gaza Surf Club was filmed 2012-2016 when it was still possible to escape the grind and hardship of living in the “world’s largest open-air prison” and find personal freedom in the waves of the Mediterranean.

The film focuses on two people: a 23-year-old man dreaming of training in Hawaii, and a teenage girl whose journey to adulthood in Gaza means having to give up life in the waves. There is the usual glorious ‘surfer footage’ alongside a moving profile of an informal, independent group of individuals finding escape via this most free-spirited of sports.

The film’s visuals capture the thrill of the waves and the sense of the beach as a haven from the prison-like existence that characterises the Gaza Strip.

“It took us four years in the making (including a harrowing war in Gaza during 2014) to finally bring this film to fruition. I believe that we managed to capture some incredibly engaging and unrepeatable moments that narrate a story of a group of people whose similarities with our ‘human condition’ bring out the wrangling contrasts of our differences.”
Philip Gnadt, Director