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“I don’t like it when people interfere in other people’s business,” says Sabah Abu Ghanem in The Hollywood Reporter’s exclusive clip of Gaza Surf Club. “It’s my personal decision.”
The documentary looks at a surprising new community, composed of a new generation of Middle Easterners who look to the waves of the Mediterranean for solace from war and political gridlock. In the clip, the 15-year-old girl notes how her hobbies — which include wearing nail polish and swimming (without a head scarf so she doesn’t choke) — stand in contrast to her society even though that’s what makes her happy.
“The film is not a report on Middle Eastern society; it’s a story. We chose a small group of people for their individual aspirations and attempted to show beauty and hope in a place known by most for quite the opposite,” director Philip Gnadt and co-director/producer Mickey Yamine tells THR. “If we manage to make a few people think — whether it be about the similarities and differences in cultures or how happiness is relative to what opportunities you are given — then this film has had a purpose.”
Gaza Surf Club will makes its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival. XYZ Films is handling the film’s sales.
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