Saturday, March 21, 2009

CLOSED ZONE: 'Waltz With Bashir' Animator Makes Film On Gaza (VIDEO)

AP | March 4, 2009 02:25 PM

RAMALLAH, West Bank -- An Israeli creator of the Oscar-nominated "Waltz with Bashir" released a short film Wednesday about the effects of his country's Gaza blockade on Palestinians.

Yoni Goodman said he hoped the 90-second animated film, "Closed Zone," would draw attention to the plight of Gaza's civilians.

"People talk about Hamas, but there are many civilians there who are not Hamas supporters but who are suffering from this blockade," the animator said.

Israel has kept Gaza's borders largely sealed since the Islamic militant Hamas took over the seaside territory in June 2007. Since then, Israeli has heavily restricted Palestinians from leaving Gaza and limited the goods that can enter.

The closed borders are a major issue in both peace talks and proposals to reconstruct Gaza after Israel's three-week offensive ended in January. Both Palestinians and international aid groups say the borders must be opened to allow in much-needed living supplies.

Goodman said he began the film before Israel launched its offensive against Gaza's ruling Hamas militants in December, but the conflict affected the story.

The film, a combination of animation and real-life scenes, follows a boy chasing a blue bird while large hands block his way. The hands cut Gaza's borders in the ground with a giant cookie-cutter, then prevent the boy from crossing.