Monday, September 9, 2013

TIFF 2013: Giraffida (Pretty Good)

Giraffada is set in the West Bank, with frequent shots of the security wall reminding us of the stress the people there are living under. This is a story about a boy whose father is a vet at the local zoo, and his love for the giraffes there. The peaceful life of the animals in the zoo - despite their captivity, is in contrast to the life of the Palestinians, always reminded that the Israelis hold the upper hand.

When one of the giraffes dies from hitting its head, after being startled by gunfire and rockets one night, the other giraffe stops eating, as does the boy.

This is a nice, touching story of a boy trying to hang on to the one thing that keeps him sane in an insane living situation. I've seen several takes on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. this isn't the best, but it's a novel approach and it's cute, while still showing us what life is like in the West Bank.
There was a short Q&A after the film, with the director, producer and lead actress up on stage. One interesting question was whether bringing attention to the plight of the real zoo that inspired this story is an inappropriate distraction from the larger issues. The director disagreed, saying there had been lots of other films about the conflict, and if this film helps the zoo, and helps people see that that is part of life there, he's happy about that. 

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