When Pigs Have Wings | Das Schwein Von Gaza

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2011, Sylvain Estibal (Director/Writer), Sasson Gabai (Jafaar), Baya Belal (Fatime), Myriam Tekaia (Yelena)

There are movies that made me thought: I want to write something like that. I want to be a storyteller. I realized it’s not really something about the book being monetarily successful (although I wouldn’t say no to it) but for it’s about always see things positively throughout life. I believe, at the core of our being, no matter how hard the moment seemed to be, there is always a light. With humor.

The story itself is about Jafaar, a poor fisherman living in Gaza. He was quite unlucky with his situation. Only small fishes got caught in his net, his house is used by Israeli patrol, and he owes quite a lot of money. With other fishermans, finding a coffee cup in their net is a huge thing, something you can give your wife as a gift. Even two right flipflops are good. He, on the other hand, caught a pig in his net.

A pig is a big problem because Jafaar, as a moslem, is forbidden to have anything to do with a pig. He can’t even touch it, let alone use it for a meal. Even more problem, the Jews considered it the same. So how could he get rid of a 50 kg pig? Since Jafaar desperately needed money, he tried every possible person who might want to eat “big”. He went to the UN western officer, but the officer didn’t want a living pig either. He tried to kill it, but couldn’t bring himself to do it.

What happened next was some hilarious scenes involving Miss Piggy, Brazilian telenovela, and a corrupted police (separately, of course). There were awkward starts of friendships between an Israeli soldier, Yelena (an Israeli pig breeder – an exception), Jafaar, and Fatime (Jafaar’s wife). And of course, there were some very real issues with the conflict in Gaza, which made the film felt real.

The film, however, decided to tell everything in a positive and humorous light. For me, this is great, but I know it takes an even greater courage to be able to laugh in a quite dire situation.

I love this film. It gives hope. Hope that when people set aside what had been brainwashed in their head, and start seeing the world with love without prejudice, our blood is truly the same. We are humans, after all.

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