Against a background of bombed out buildings, relentless Israeli incursions, and the prison-like existence of life in the Gaza Strip, a small group of resilient locals have found a way to escape – in the laid back, mellow sport of surfing.
Abu Jayab, 42, father of the Gazan surf culture, taught the younger generation to surf on homemade wooden boards, until an American benefactor sent 24 modern alternatives. But supplies of surfboards are strictly limited and subject to lengthy Israeli custom delays.
Surf enthusiast Ibrahim, 23, has been bitten by the bug. He dreams of going to Hawaii to intern with board makers and then return to open a clubhouse and surf shop in his hometown. But first he needs a visa.
And then there is 15-year-old Sabah, once a passionate young surfer girl, who is now no longer allowed in the water without a headscarf, according to Hamas rules.
This heart-warming documentary is a celebration of youth and self-expression, focusing on the protagonists’ struggles to do what they love, in the face of societal and familial pressure in the depressing reality of life in the Gaza enclave.
Gaza Surf ClubPhilip Gnadt, Mickey Yamine |
87 mins |
Arabic, English, with English subtitles
Sabah Abu Ghanem, Mohammed Abu Jayab, Ibrahim Arafat