Screening: The Tea Boy of Gaza

Screening Sunday 30th September, 2007

Twelve-year-old Mahmoud has a unique position from which to view the fighting between the Palestinian factions in the Gaza strip. He spends his day selling tea to the patients and staff at Al Shifa, the biggest hospital in the region. Sometimes men buy tea, sometimes they stop Mahmoud getting in, and sometimes they try and kill each other in the hospital car park.
The Frontline Club presents a chance to see this award-winning film by Olly Lambert, filmed by the director during the violent clashes between rival factions in the Summer of 2006. It shows an intimate account of the impact that inter-factional fighting has on ordinary lives. 

It features the tea seller Mahmoud, ducking and weaving between the crowds of doctors, nurses, staff and patients, all the while holding a kettle of hot tea, hustling for a sale before it all goes cold. But at the end of the day, the tea’s temperature is the last thing on his mind. Daily fights break out in the hospital grounds, with gunfire and grenades that leave Mahmoud running for cover. 

Also dodging the bullets is Dr. Jomaa al Saqqa, the hospital director who struggles to maintain order while convincing foreign donors to give the hospital much needed supplies.  And there’s Ahmed al Mogrebe, an orthopaedic nurse whose support for the Hamas regime hasn’t wavered despite the crippling international blockade the followed their election.  

Behind the headline grabbing young men with balaclavas and Kalashnikovs, this is a moving and insightful portrait of real life under a Hamas government.
“Utterly compelling”  The Sunday Times
Winner, One World Media Trust award for Best TV documentary

Length: 60 mins
View trailer here