Documentary by Marco Pasquini
September 18, 2010
Arabic with English subtitles
Followed by a discussion with the film director
In Gaza Hospital, the stars of Marco Pasquini’s film narrate their unforgettable stories, which took place in a cutting-edge hospital that ultimately became a shelter for displaced refugees. Through in-depth research, oral testimonies, and rare archival footage, the film guides us through pivotal moments in the hospital’s history. These events include the 1982 Israeli invasion, the Sabra-Shatila massacre, and the War of the Camps in the mid to late 1980s, and its most recent reincarnation as a refugee shelter.
Experiencing nostalgia is perhaps unavoidable when the hospital’s present dwellers and former medical volunteers recall its “golden age.” Yet the original footage, which depicts the tragedies witnessed by the hospital, demonstrates the unspeakable brutalities of the past as well as the scars they inflicted on the building and the people involved. Today, while the situation is far less violent than it was the past,
the hospital continues to exemplify pain and suffering in its current role as a “vertical refugee camp,” one that towers over the shrinking “horizontal” camps of Sabra and Shatila.
Gaza Hospital is indeed a powerful film thanks to its lively and real characters, the wealth of its archival footage, and the products of its deep field research. At the same time, it benefits immensely from the artistic skills of its director. Viewers are mesmerized by the masterful camera work, which follows the subjects as they wander through space and time among the various manifestations of Sabra Street. The hospital still symbolizes the endless struggle and suffering of a people.