Fiche Film
Cinéma/TV
LONG Métrage | 2009
To shoot an elephant
Pays concerné : Espagne
Durée : 112 minutes
Genre : politique
Type : documentaire

Français

Pendant les bombardements d’Israël sur la bande de Gaza l’hiver dernier, alors que la plupart des journalistes ne pouvaient pas accéder à la zone, Alberto Arce, à l’intérieur, a pu filmer la situation. Il en résulte un documentaire poignant, témoignage de la souffrance des civils palestiniens, souffrance souvent laissée de côté par les médias.
Alberto Arce est un journaliste espagnol d’une trentaine d’années. Ayant suivi pendant cinq ans les événements en Palestine, il a pris conscience du silence des médias sur la situation dans la bande de Gaza.

Voulant rendre compte de la souffrance des civils palestiniens, il a décidé de tourner un documentaire, pendant les bombardements des forces israéliennes, l’hiver dernier. Inspiré par George Orwell (qui a notamment participé à la guerre d’Espagne et a multiplié les reportages sur le sujet) il a choisi de se poser lui aussi en tant que témoin oculaire.

Le titre du film fait d’ailleurs référence à une nouvelle de l’écrivain, critique de l’impérialisme et réflexion sur la place des officiers britanniques en Birmanie, dans les années 20. Plus généralement, cette nouvelle permet de s’interroger sur la place des hommes dans la machine politique, et sur les actes qu’ils se retrouvent contraints de faire, ce jusqu’à tuer, sous la pression d’une hiérarchie.

Réalisateurs : Alberto Arce/ Mohammad Rujailah
Scénario : Alberto Arce/ Miquel Marti Freixas


« Je compris à cet instant que lorsque l’homme blanc devient un tyran, c’est sa propre liberté qu’il détruit. Il devient une sorte de mannequin, une carcasse vide qui prend des poses ; il n’est plus que la représentation conventionnelle du sahib. Car pour pouvoir exercer sa domination, il faut qu’il passe sa vie à tenter d’impressionner les « indigènes », ce qui veut dire qu’à chaque moment décisif, il doit se conformer à ce que les « indigènes » attendent de lui. Il porte un masque, et son visage finit par épouser les contours de ce masque. Je devais tuer cet éléphant. »
George Orwell

Lire la nouvelle d’Orwell : Comment j’ai tué un éléphant.
http://georgeorwell.t35.com/fr6/Comment.j.ai.tue.un.elephant.pdf

Toute collectivité, communauté, association peut organiser sa projection, – le film est en téléchargement libre – la seule condition étant la gratuité de la séance, qui doit être accessible à tous.

English

« To shoot an elephant » is an eye witness account from The Gaza Strip. December 27th, 2008, Operation Cast Lead. 21 days shooting elephants. Urgent, insomniac, dirty, shuddering images from the only foreigners who decided and managed to stay embedded inside Gaza strip ambulances, with Palestinian civilians.

« …afterwards, of course, there were endless discussions about the shooting of the elephant. The owner was furious, but he was only an Indian and could do nothing. Besides, legally I had done the right thing, for a mad elephant has to be killed, like a mad dog, if it’s owner fails to control it ».

George Orwell defined a way of witnessing Asia that still remains valid. « To shoot an elephant » is an eye witness account from The Gaza Strip. December 27th, 2008, Operation Cast Lead. 21 days shooting elephants. Urgent, insomniac, dirty, shuddering images from the only foreigners who decided and managed to stay embedded inside Gaza strip ambulances, with Palestinian civilians.

George Orwell: « Shooting an elephant » was originally published in New Writing in 1948.

Directors: Alberto Arce/ Mohammad Rujailah
Script: Alberto Arce/ Miquel Marti Freixas
Editing: Alberto Arce/ Miquel marti Freixas
Sound: Francesc Gosalves
Posproduction: Jorge Fernández Mayoral
Co-production/distribution: Eguzki Bideoak.
Translation: Mohammad Rujailah/ Alberto Arce
Design Team: Mr. Brown and Mabrilan
Duration:112′


A collaborative effort


This film would have never been possible without the devotion and commitment of Muhammad Rujailah, « the fixer ». A local Gazan who decided to spend those weeks with us. For most of the time he was my ears, my eyes, my mouth. Most foreign journalists, not speaking Arabic rely on a « hidden figure » that is normally erased from the resulting work. I want to acknowledge his collaboration. Expressing that foreigners need locals. And locals have to be credited for their work. Orientalism is always present in the foreigners approach to the Middle East, that’s where local perspectives are needed to overcome stereotypes and build an honest narration of the complex reality we are facing.

This film would have never been possible without the trust, warmth and collaboration of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society and Health Worker Committee ambulance crews. Rescuers like Marwan, Hassan, Jamal and many others were there, answering phone calls and driving crazy day and night races between bombs and snipers knowing they were targets for the Israelis. Many of their friends, like Arafa Abdel Daim, were killed. They were shot at. Their cars were destroyed. But they never gave up. They are brave. Brave without weapons. One of our main focuses of « to shoot an elephant » is to uphold International Humanitarian law by showing how the medical teams and hospitals were directly targeted while performing their duties.

In Gaza, we were a team. Together with the locals, Vittorio Arrigoni, Eva Bartlett, Ewa Jasiewicz, Leila, George, Natalie, Jenny united to form a group. Now I will show some of their intentions and work during those days. It could not have been possible without them. Also without the strength I got from the telephone calls from a number of activists all around the world who just phoned to say that they were there, that we were not alone. They have to be thanked properly. Even if they don’t know and I am unable to say thank you personally, they pushed me ethically not to give up. Haidar Eid and his fellow colleagues from the University teachers association of Gaza Strip with their intellectual support in understanding what was going on and what should be done after the massacre we witnessed, to effectively join efforts for justice. Nabil, from the Palestinian Medical Relief Society was the person who showed us all around Jabalya refugee camp in order for us to understand the magnitude and perversity implied in maintaining the collective punishment that Gaza’s inhabitants are suffering.

Some officials in the Spanish government helped me to get out with all the raw material. It was their duty, but they did it with the best professionalism. Others would not have engaged. Mahmud was our crazy driver. With his taxi and his willingness to risk, we managed to reach houses directly targeted with white phosphorous shells or managed to film the fire at the United Nations central warehouse for food when it vanished and was burnt with phosphorous. And fighter Ahmed who paid a price because of helping me. Miquel trusted me and believed in this project right from the start when we talked for the first time. Eguzki Bideoak supported me and all the participants and those involved in the organising of the « Encuentros de Fotoperiodismo Ciudad de Gijón » who helped me to regain the enthusiasm I had somehow lost.

Sarah and my family. Always Sarah and my family. I entered Gaza with a commitment to making a film because somebody had faith in me. CI Comunicación have to be acknowledged for that. Too bad our paths took us to different destinations.

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« To shoot an elephant » es un relato sobre un testigo presencial en la Franja de Gaza. El 27 de diciembre de 2008, la Operación « Cast lead » (Plomo Fundido) estuvo disparando a elefantes durante 21 días. Imágenes urgentes, insomnes, escalofriantes y sucias de los únicos extranjeros que decidieron y consiguieron permanecer, empotrados en las ambulancias de la Franja de Gaza, al lado de la población civil palestina.
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George Orwellek Asiari begiratzeko oraindik baliagarria den modu bat definitu zuen. « To shoot an elephant » Gazako Zerrendan egondako lekuko bati buruzko kontakizuna da. 2008ko abenduaren 27tik aurrera « Cast lead » (Berun urtua) izeneko operazioak elefanteak tirokatzen eman zituen 21 egun. Premiazko irudiak ditugu, logura kentzeko moduak, ikaragarriak eta zikinak; anbulantzietara itsatsiak biztanleri zibil palestinarraren ondoan gelditzea erabaki eta lortu zuten atzerritar bakarrek lortutakoak.

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Portret van het door Israël bezette Gaza. In een reeks vignetten, gefilmd tussen 25/12/2008 en 16/1/2009, toont Alberto Arce het hedendaagse leven in de bezette gebieden, dat gedomineerd wordt door de ambulancediensten die gewonden en doden (consequent aangeduid als’martelaren’) van de straten plukken.

Alberto Arce/ Mohammad Rujailah, Spanje, 2009, 112 min., Engels en Arabisch gesproken, Engelse ondertiteling.

Distribution
EGUZKI BIDEOAK
Merced, 21, bajo
31001 Pamplona-Iruñea
(+34) 948 211537
(+34) 608928631
banaketak(@)eguzkibideoak.info
www.eguzkibideoak.info

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