Celebrated Italian documentarian Manu Gerosa went to Palestine to make this film about the Gaza parkour team, who practise the sport’s breathtaking athletic feats while dreaming of an escape to Europe. Parkour involves running, jumping, vaulting and somersaulting across the rooftops of an urban environment - with its ruins and bomb sites, Gaza makes a perfect training ground for the discipline. Using a minimum of equipment, without a script and staying at the homes of his subjects, Gerosa was inspired to make his film by an article he saw on The Guardian’s website. It’s an incredibly intimate portrait, in which the most often spoken phrase is ‘inshallah’ - ‘let’s hope’, ‘God willing’ - and the backdrop is the constant sound of gunfire, exploding shells and surveillance drones. Whereas Western parkour is grounded in hip-hop, commercialism and the aesthetics of advertising, in Gaza it represents a gesture of revolt practised among the ruins, and one feels acutely for the cruel denial of and frustration in these lives.
“An especially significant, evocative yet never rhetorical work which demonstrates respect and sensitivity.” – Visions du Réel.