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Gaza: Still Alive

A documentary revealing the mental health catastrophe among Palestinians in the impoverished Gaza Strip, amid ongoing war trauma and after a decade of isolation from the world.

This is the story of Gazans’ immense invisible suffering, through the eyes of ordinary civilians and the psychologists tasked with supporting them against all odds.

  • Harry Fear
    Killing Hamid (2013), A Matter of Hope (2010)
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    War Trauma, Mental Health, Documentary
  • Runtime:
    53 minutes 17 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 28, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    17,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    Palestine, State of
  • Language:
    Arabic, English
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • ArtRage Gallery Screening
    Syracuse, New York
    United States
    July 30, 2019
Distribution Information
  • RT
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Harry Fear

Born and raised in Oxford, Harry Fear's television, radio and documentary work has taken him to 29 countries across the world. Harry is best known for his reporting on the European migrant crisis and for his hard-hitting coverage inside the Gaza Strip, especially during the 2012 and 2014 Israel-Hamas conflicts.

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Director Statement

When you think of Gaza, you may think of war and destroyed buildings. But Gaza’s story is one of much more than destruction. This documentary decidedly overlooks the politics of Palestinian in-fighting and Israeli occupation. Rather, it focuses on the scars and craters inside ordinary civilians’ minds.

Many of us know about Gaza’s economic hardships—the strangling siege, the high unemployment rate, the poverty and deprivation—but less often do we see the deprivation that is the invisible, unmet needs for psychological support for a population so in need of it.

The film is not full of images of war planes, bomb craters or other war footage. We’ve all seen that. Rather, the film asks: how has a decade of siege affected people there, including those who grew up in this ‘open air prison’? How has this affected their mental health and why? And what does this bode for the future?

One wonders what is the effect on a Palestinian child’s mind to hold the widespread idea that they’re living in ‘imprisonment’ while the rest of the world’s kids live in freedom.

The film seeks to humanise the Palestinians of Gaza in a new light and to cut through political controversies. Taking a look at specific samples of individuals’ mental health is one way to avoid the depiction of propagandic sob stories.

This film seeks to convey the exquisite pain and hardship that is life, being a Palestinian in Gaza — for the ordinary person, the person just trying to get by, the person who's seen 3 wars, the person who's a refugee. Most people in Gaza have lost someone or know of someone lost; most have experienced direct traumatic events. Most live with the atmosphere of confinement. Most feel imprisoned. This film is for them and is their story.