For the column linked to the SiciliAmbiente Film Festival today we propose two films suggested by Riccardo Costantini of Cinemazero: Behemot (2015) of Chinese director Zhao and Liang and Gaza (2019) of Garry Keane and Andrew McConnell.

“When you are uncertain, you must let your heart take over. Choosing two documentaries on such important and, unfortunately, always urgent topics such as ecology and human rights is a difficult task, especially due to the large amount of films thatI see every year for the selection of the festival that I coordinate, Pordenone Docs Fest. Thus, the choice “commands” an element that is needed today more than ever: resistance (… much better than the abused “resilience”), an ability with which man and nature are incredibly gifted, even in the complex relationship between them.
Behemot (2015), by Chinese director Zhao Liang: a true masterpiece, with no hesitation in using another overused word here. It tells the daily life of a community of Mongolian miners of which nothing is known, even if it is their work that “literally” arms the construction of huge ghost towns (left deserted, albeit complete) created by the Chinese government. Behemoth takes place like a journey into the underworld, Dantesque, tripartite in structure, distinguished by screens of colors. The descent into hell: a coal mine in the Mongolian prairies and, later, a foundry. Purgatory: workers affected by occupational diseases, awaiting treatment or death. Paradise: wide and empty streets, modern and desolate skyscrapers, the result of a crazy real estate dream. Zhao Liang lets the images denounce the greed and reckless ambition of man, whose action, however, will never be superior to the force of nature: the dazzling beauty of photography and an almost timeless narration speak for themselves.
Gaza (2019), by Garry Keane and Andrew McConnel, shows not the “usual” Gaza narrated by the media, wounded, painful, harassed, dying, but testifies to its “aliveness”, existing in the irrepressible energy of the two million people for whom the Strip is simply “Home”. A daily life that we do not know from the outside, which reconciles us with this place among the most painful on earth, reaffirming the fundamental right of those who “resist”: to be alive. Editing and directing style, in the first part of the film, flat and linear, suddenly break: in the bright and lively day, acted by one of the youngest populations on the planet, unexpected thunder of missiles burst from the sky. Dust, collapses, shouts envelop this swarming anthill: in effect – and in defiance of UN resolutions – the largest open-air prison in the world. Armed with stones, slings in hand, very young boys, they show their anger … Our eyes and hearts are with them.
Resisting, even with documentaries, is possible. Two films, therefore, to see and show, as much as – and as well as – you can. “
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