Archive Cinema City 2010.

To Shoot an Elephant

To Shoot an Elephant

Genre: Documentary
Country: Spain
Year: 2009
Duration: 113 min.

Director: Alberto Arce, Mohammad Rujailah
Scenario: Alberto Arce, Mohammad Rujailah

Programme selection: Democracy: Export/Import


"(...) Afterwards, of course, there were endless discussions about the shooting of the elephant. The ownerwas furious, but he was only an Indian and could do nothing. Besides, legally I had done the right thing, for amad elephant has to be killed, like a mad dog, if it's owner fails to control it".George Orwell’s “Shooting an elephant” was originally published in New Writing in 1948.

George Orwell defined a way of witnessing Asia that still remains valid. "To shoot an elephant" is an eye witness account from The Gaza Strip. December 27th, 2008, Operation Cast Lead. 21 days shooting elephants. Urgent, insomniac, dirty, shuddering images from a group of foreigners who decided and managed to stay embedded inside Gaza strip ambulances, with Palestinian civilians. 



Alberto Arce.

Journalist and documentary maker, has collaborated and collaborates with different centres of investigation such as the Instituto de Estudios sobre Conflictos y Acción Humanitaria (Conflict and humanitarian action study Institute), with numerous independent newspapers such as Diagonal, El Viejo Topo or Directa as well as more coventional papers like El Mundo. It was these reports for this paper that won the Mediterranean Journalist Award Anna Lindh. This being for the recognition of his work along with the Premio Joan Gomis de Periodismo Solidario (Joan Gomis prize for solidarity in journalism) which he was awarded in 2007.

Mohammad Rujailah.

Freelance translator. Is also a member of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) and the Palestine Liberation Organisation. Has collaborated and co-operated with the Khan Younis refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. Collaborated with Alberto Arce during his time in Gaza between 2008 and 2009 where together, they filmed To Shoot an Elephant, which is Mohammad's first audiovisual work.

(click to enlarge)