Gaza and I
3 years ago I produced "Strawberry fields" a documentary that follows the agriculture cycle of one year of Strawberry growth in Gaza. The film was shot during the years 2005-6. One of its main protagonist was Madiha. It was the year in which Israel disengaged from the Gaza strip and Hamas assumed political power. We shot the film with a wonderful and devoted crew from Ramattan Studios. The director Ayelet Heller and me developed deep trust and bond with them. We faced the hardship of everyday life in Gaza which were unbearable most of the time. During this year, a dramatic change for Gaza's people took place, as both entrances to Gaza were completely shut after the elections to the PA. In the last shooting day that took place in Madiha's field, Israel bombarded the area from the air the whole day. At a certain point Ayelet called me and said: "we can't work like this, every 5 min. we hear the whistle of the bomb and we have to lie on the ground, can we finish this shooting day" I said of course... later she texted me "I escaped like a good Jew.." This was our main feeling every time we came to Gaza, that we go back to Tel Aviv and leave our friends locked behind. Our last visit in Gaza was after the elections to the PA. It was clear that Gaza was punished and going to be more punished for its first democratic elections. We came to thank the crew at the end of a hard and devastating year of shooting the film. None of us imagined that this will be the last time we will see each other for the next 3 years! Until today we never saw the film together and they never saw it on a big screen. Last week the film was screened in Morocco in the first documentary festival in Agadir and was warmly welcomed.

Sderot and I
My grandparents emigrated in 1953 from Tunisia to a small village near Sderot. My father came alone in 1951, when he was only 11 years old passing through Marseille. During my childhood years I use to come every vacation to my grandparents, in the summer we used to go to the swimming pool in Sderot. I have a lot of memories from it as a child and teenager. I remember also going with my parents to the market in Gaza. In these times everything was still open. My grandparents died 10 years ago so I hardly visit the area since. A few years ago I came to the South Festival that Sapir College organizes every year. I wanted to see the swimming pool which I remembered was very blue with arches. I drove around Sderot that expanded a lot over the years and couldn't find the swimming pool. I drove back to the cinematheque disappointed and than I saw it blue as I remembered it. Than I realized that back then Sderot was a small place where everyone knew everyone, but no one knew the word Kassam.

GazaSderot and I
Coming back to sderot and meeting our characters together with the people of Sderot spending time there I feel that it is still a small place, the people are very welcoming and facing difficult times. In many ways they always did—just like at other places the state built and than forgot and is now remembering again— but not all the time..

For me being involved in Gazasderot is more than just producing a very interesting and challenging project but also my past and present and some hope for the future that should come I believe only from this place.

Osnat Trablesi, Co-producer