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Fatenah, an animation from Gaza

Contributed by This Week In Palestine on 07.01.2010:

Fatenah is a 27-year-old young woman who lives in the Gaza Strip. Her life was like that of many other women in Gaza, until she became ill.

This short, 27-minute animation – the first Palestinian-produced animation – reproduces with incredible accuracy the scenarios of Gaza City. The story, untold till now, is a breathtaking adventure that takes the viewer on a journey that accompanies Fatenah in her daily struggles and uncovers the human drama of her fight to survive. This journey to the heart of the Gaza Strip will touch and move you.

The idea of the film is to illustrate what it is like to be a patient in need of referral for specialised hospital care outside Gaza. It is based on a true story, documented by WHO and Physicians for Human Rights (PHR)-Israel, of a patient diagnosed with breast cancer in Gaza.

Approximately 1,000 patients per month apply to the Israeli authorities for permits to get out of Gaza in order to access specialised treatment in East Jerusalem, Israel, Jordan, and the West Bank. Many of them go through the kind of experiences that are revealed in this animation. However, about 30 percent of these patients, 300 patients per month, are unable to get out of Gaza because their permits are denied or delayed.

WHO puts out data regularly on the referral-abroad process in Gaza, and PHR-Israel also monitors and advocates for individual cases. But there is no substitute for the human story; this is the reason that WHO decided to support this project.

Fatenah is at once the first Palestinian-produced animation and the first time that a story on access to health care for patients in Gaza reaches the big screen. It was animated and directed by Ahmad Habash and produced by Saed Andoni. The screenplay was written by Saed Andoni, Ahmad Habash, and Ambrogio Manenti. This animation has been realised and distributed with the support of WHO West Bank and Gaza, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and Sabreen Association for Artistic Development.

TWIP January 2010

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