“Gaza” Showcases the Everyday Life of Palestinians

The Middle East has long been riven by conflicting interests, but behind the region’s politics lies something simple and relatable: the lives of everyday citizens who love, laugh, dance, sing, and crave normalcy. The human side of life in Palestine is the subject of the documentary film “Gaza.” Christiane speaks with its producer.

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CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: You know better than anybody that the idea of humanizing, you know, a population that is seen as so — or at least their leaders are seen, you know, so negatively by so many around the world is a risky product, a risky project. Why did you decide to go into Gaza and tell this story of ordinary people?

BRENDAN BYRNE, PRODUCER, “GAZA”: Well, you know, for some of the reasons you said, I mean, I grew up in Northern Ireland. I grew up in the years of conflict here, and, you know, I understand intrinsically what injustice feels and looks like as being part of the minority community myself. And when a fellow Northern Irish guys and another colleague from the Irish border had teamed up and had gone into Gaza on a number of occasions and a photographic project and started filming there and brought me the material and asked me, was I interested in exploring this further, I immediately connected at a very human level with these kind of very ordinary, yet extraordinary stories of real people who had become fierceless in many ways through the television news and the three-minute news clip. And here were these beautiful, articulate, but often sad, yet passionate people who were really just crying out for their voice to be heard and their stories to be told. That really resonated with me, and for that reason we decided embark on this film, which has been a great journey of learning and understanding for all of those involved.

AMANPOUR: I want to play a little clip. It actually comes right at the top, almost right at the top of the program, of the documentary, and it’s this little girl, Karma, and she’s a teenager, and she loves to play violin but she has a statement about the state of her people and herself in Gaza.

KARMA KHAIAL: People from the outside countries, they can’t see other than the fact that we live in constant wars. The only thing they give us is, like, sympathy, and it bothers me so much. They only see the side they want to see.

About This Episode EXPAND

Christiane speaks with former National Security Council spokesman Michael Anton about current events. She also speaks with Brendan Byrne about the documentary “Gaza.” Melinda Gates sounds the alarm on what the Gates Foundation calls “mutually exacerbating catastrophes.” Eddie S. Glaude Jr. tells Walter Isaacson that the U.S. must confront the lies it tells itself about being a redeemer nation.