It’s difficult to say who is more restrained in Qalqilya, its citizens or its zoo’s animals. Bordering between Israel and the West Bank, the village is surrounded for two-thirds by the West Bank barrier. Qalqilya Zoo is the only place for leisure on the West Bank and welcomes hundreds of schools each year. The circumstances of the zoo are poor with a limited budget, limited space, and no trained staff. Apart from Dr Sami, the vet, who is determined to improve ‘his’ zoo. During the last Intifada, the zoo lost it’s most popular giraffes. Sami’s deepest wish is to bring new ones. Years ago he contacted all the zoos in Europe to ask them to donate giraffes. Only Hannover Zoo answered but couldn’t help as Qalqilya Zoo is not an EAZA member (European Association for Zoos & Aquaria). Sami decided that day to get international recognition for his zoo which put him in front of the incredible task of building a professional zoo on Occupied Territory in collaboration with the nearby Israeli Zoos.
DoP: Stefano Bertacchini
Editor: Patrick Minks
Sound: Kwinten van Laethem
Composer: Victor Griffioen
The Netherlands Film Fund, CoBO Fund, Dutch Cultural Media Fund, IIC Foundation, Flanders Audiovisual Fund, Creative Europe and the VRT.
‘Een intelligente, subtiele allegorie op de levenssituatie van Palestijnen in dit door Israël bezette gebied’ – Jos van der Burg/Filmkrant
‘Een bezielde documentaire over wat ‘s werelds eenzaamste dierentuin wordt genoemd.’ – Filmkrant