Monday, November 12, 2007

Gollywood? Gaza reveals starry-eyed plans for a studio city on its own sunset strip


Screenwriters should be lining up to option this unlikely tale. The Gaza Strip's isolated and cash-strapped Hamas rulers plan to build a $200 million media city and movie production house that will attract stars and tourists while it cements control of the territory it seized by force in June. Promoters will have to smuggle in start-up cash through underground tunnels from Egypt.

Much of the moonbat/wingnut Blogosphere already casts aspersions on "Pallywood", supposedly an organized cabal of Palestinian propagandists who stage bloody events with hirelings and circulate faked news footage aimed at gaining leftist sympathies. It's a perversion of the tiresome whining about how "the Jews own Hollywood."

Gollywood, if it ever gets off the ground, will surely be more entertaining than Pallywood, one hopes. Maybe the local directors can start off with surf flicks, after a recent donation of a dozen boards from an ageing Jewish doctor and surf enthusiast from California. Who's gonna make waves?

For action movies, there's always the IDF who can be relied on to provide special effects with the odd air strike or incursion. No need to fake a soundtrack of screams.

The Associated Press reports that

the Islamic group has raised only a tiny fraction of the money it needs for its own Hollywood, at a time when the Gaza economy has ground to a standstill and its people are struggling to feed themselves because of Israeli and international sanctions against Hamas.

Even so, Hamas envisions a glittering facility with production and graphics studios, satellite technology, gardens, water ponds, a children's entertainment area and an array of cafes and restaurants, said the Felasteen daily, a Hamas paper.

It will even feature mock towns and villages similar to those that Palestinians fled or were forced out after Israel's creation in 1948, the newspaper reported, quoting Fathi Hamad, a Hamas lawmaker and head of the project.

Hamad said the project's directors have raised $1 million, a small fraction of the $200 million price tag. He said he was confident the group could raise the rest from local donations and from Palestinians living abroad.

Hamas launched a satellite channel last year, offering bearded young men reading the news, and Islamic music layered over footage of masked militants firing rockets into Israel. Hamas loyalists also run at least five news Web sites, two newspapers and a radio station.

Some previous Hamas productions have generated unflattering headlines. In one show last year, a high-pitched Mickey Mouse lookalike called Farfour preached Islamic domination to children. After an international outcry, Hamas had the character killed off - by an actor playing an Israel security officer.
The mouse's replacement, a bee called Nahoul, was condemned by animal rights activists after the character swung cats by their tails to demonstrate how not to treat animals.

Hamas officials did not return phone calls seeking comment about the new media project.
Talal Okal, a Palestinian political writer close to Hamas, said finding the money would be difficult, but not impossible, because of Hamas' network of supporters in the Arab world.

He said the announcement was an important first step toward obtaining full control over the media. "Hamas realizes the importance of the media,'' Okal said.

3 comments:

red bull said...

Given that there's now a Gaza surf club, maybe Hamas' first film should be a beach film. I gues they're waiting for the burqinis!!!

richard landes said...

"Much of the moonbat/wingnut Blogosphere already casts aspersions on "Pallywood", supposedly an organized cabal of Palestinian propagandists who stage bloody events with hirelings and circulate faked news footage aimed at gaining leftist sympathies. It's a perversion of the tiresome whining that how "the Jews own Hollywood."

moonbat is a term for the terminally foolish left (from Monbiot -- Georges Monbiot), so i doubt anyone from that wing of the blogosphere casts aspersions on Pallywood. on the contrary, they eat it up.

it's not clear what your position is -- much ironic distance in what you write. but i invite you to examine the evidence at the second draft and make up your own mind. you can see both the rushes from another cameraman from that day and some selections that show directors, civilians ordering military, and many evacuation scenes, all against a background of a crowd that shows no fear of israeli guns.

as for the meaning of the term Pallywood, it's not a perversion of the tiresome whining about the jews owning hollywood, it's a pun on bollywood, the indian film industry. pallywood is the palestinian film industry and their main product is "news" that gullible (at best) western journalists run as real events and equally gullible ngo's (like btselem) accept as facts. (i spoke with the people at b'tselem about this, and it was clear to me that they have radically inadequate control for false claims.)

Anonymous said...

Some "Moonbats" and cynics challenge the idea that Pallywood operates the way wingnuts suggest (ie hiring the same mourner to traverse from one scene of carnage to another or guys playing dead )
Smacks of conspiracy theory

Wikipedia suggests the word derives from Hollywood , not Bollywood, but you ought to know if you coined it, professor

Are we supposed to accept only the IDF videos of events? Palestinian cameramen take risks on the frontline and are not only stagers of events. Many no longer cringe at the everyday sound of gunfire.