Film Review: Ambulance

Since the UN partition of Palestine in 1947 and the establishment of the State of Israel a year later, Arab-Israeli could rarely be described as amicable. With the formation of the PLO and subsequent war in 1967, there has been a frequently hostile peace interspersed with occasional wars or intifadas. Today, Palestinians live in intimidatingly oppressive conditions with their movements and land increasingly controlled by the Zionist State.

Mohamed Jabaly is determined to make films in Gaza City despite the blockade . When a new Israeli offensive began he picked up his camera and joined an ambulance crew to document their work. Desperate to help, he’s a young man trying to make sense of the increasing tensions and conflicts which have blighted the city all his life. As the siege tightens we see events unravel through his eyes; a passenger in the middle of a war zone which makes little sense.

Ambulance charts the growing levels of tension over the seven week conflict through Jabaly’s lens. He chiefly documents the incredible bravery of an ambulance crew led by Abu Marzouq, a man who’s lived and worked through decades of conflict. His quiet stoicism speaks volumes. Any mention of Hamas is conspicuous by its absence as Jabaly concentrates on how the Israeli reign of terror effects ordinary people, including his family and friends. Ambulance is a powerful and, at times, harrowing portrait of a city under siege.

Ambulance screens at Sheffield Doc/Fest on Sunday.

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