Film still from Home Movies Gaza by Basma Alsharif. Courtesy the artist.

Thursday February 29, 2024

  • Doors 6:30PM; Introduction + films 7:00PM; discussion 8:30-9:15PM
Arrell Family Foundation Auditorium

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) 1025 Queen Street West, 2nd floor
Toronto, Ontario

GAZA DIARIES - Short Film Program

Following up on the successful online screening and facilitated storytelling with Emily Jacir’s documentary “Letter to a Friend” on November 27 there was strong interest by Workman Arts’ staff to hold a followup event to again hold space for difficult discussions about current events and the mental health impacts of violence, of discrimination and the constant stream of news and how the information out of Palestine affects us as artists, as mental health workers and how these issues impact the Workman Arts membership and the public. 

Ma mère, David et moi

Taysir Batniji / 2012 / Palestine / 15 minutes

The narrative thread in Taysir Batniji’s video is a telephone conversation between the artist located in France and his mother located in Gaza. Starting from this intimate, fragmented, difficult and sometimes indistinct exchange, the artist questions the resonance of words like displacement, in-between and exile. Through a triple point of view, Ma mère, David et moi explores how to look at one’s home from elsewhere and how to establish connections by combining narration, souvenirs, impressions, the personal stories and news coverage.

Home Movies Gaza

Basma Alsharif / 2013 / Palestine/France / 24 minutes

Home Movies Gaza introduces us to the Gaza Strip as a microcosm for the failure of civilization. In an attempt to describe the everyday of a place that struggles for the most basic of human rights, this video claims a perspective from within the domestic spaces of a territory that is complicated, derelict, and altogether impossible to separate from its political identity.

Scenes of the Occupation from Gaza

Mustafa Abu Ali / 1973 / Palestine / 14 minutes

A rare film by Mustafa Abu Ali, one of the founders of the Palestine Film Unit, the first filmic arm of the Palestinian revolution. Shot by a French news team, the footage was edited by Mustafa in Lebanon to produce one of the earliest films on the occupied territory in Gaza. Scenes of the Occupation from Gaza employs experimental editing techniques to produce a cinematically and politically subversive film. The film won the prize as best film at the Damascus Film Festival in 1973 and was the only film produced by the Palestine Cinema Group, which in 1974 became the Palestine Cinema Institute.

Electrical Gaza

Rosalind Nashashibi / 2015 / Palestine/UK / 18 minutes

In Electrical Gaza, Rosalind Nashashibi combines her footage of Gaza, and the fixer, drivers and translator who were her constant company alongside animated scenes. She presents Gaza as under a spell; isolated, suspended in time, difficult to access and highly charged. She shows us Gaza as she experienced it in the quiet pause before the onslaught of Israeli bombardment in the summer of 2014.

Gaza Diary

Taysir Batniji / 2010 / Palestine / 5 minutes

“Every time I return to Gaza, feelings of frustration, sadness and anxiety come over me, especially in the first days. So much had changed for the worse in my absence ! As my city gradually deteriorated, I was torn between my desire to stay (to hold on to it) and to leave…Being born in Gaza, as well as other reasons I cannot explain, certainly nurtures my fascination with the place. I want to record my daily life the way others keep a journal."

– T.B.


Discussion to follow with Dr. Anas Al-Kassem

Trauma and bariatric surgeon practicing in Canada. Dr. Al-Kassem received his MD in Damascus and completed general surgery training at University of Ottawa. He is the co-founder of UOSSM, the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations and is active in many humanitarian organizations and was in Gaza as part of a medical convoy in December 2023.


Building and venue are wheelchair accessible. 

Enter on Queen Street main doors, just east of Ossington, elevators from main lobby to 2nd floor or take stairs at the rear of the lobby up one flight of stairs.

Films presented with English subtitles and/or captions; introductions and discussion will use microphones. 

Active listener available during and after program

Fully accessible and gender neutral washroom just outside Auditorium, additional washrooms nearby.Fixed chair seating plus moveable chairs (various sizes), mats and cushions available.


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