Parliament to screen 'From Under the Rubble'

The Parliamentary Friends of Palestine will be hosting a screening of the feature documentary 'From Under the Rubble' at Parliament House, Canberra on May 22. The event will be sponsored by the General Delegation of Palestine to Australian, New Zealand and the Pacific.

'From Under the Rubble' (2017) is a documentary feature about a peaceful, close-knit family of farmers in Gaza – the Samounis – 48 members of whom were killed when they were herded into a house by the Israeli Defence Force and then fired upon, as part of Israel’s battle with Hamas in January 2009. The film is narrated in a raw, intimate, unflinching way, largely by Amal Samouni, who was nine years old when the house she was sheltered in was bombed. Amal was buried under rubble for four days, surrounded by the dead and rotting bodies of family members, until aid workers were finally permitted to enter the area and rescue her. She still lives with more than 15 pieces of shrapnel in her head: they are too deeply embedded to safely remove. Together with her mother Zeenat and her surviving siblings, Amal pieces the family story together, moment by moment, for the camera.

With this film, Australian writer, producer and director Anne Tsoulis has set out to give voice to the civilian perspective on war, and call attention to the fact that the overwhelming majority of those killed and injured in conflict zones are women and children. Anne has spent over 25 years working within the film industry, with numerous credits in drama and documentary. FROM UNDER THE RUBBLE has been produced by John Moore of Sensible Films, who has a list of award winning films that include Thompson of Arnhem Land, Menzies & Churchill at War, Monash: The Forgotten Anzac and more recently Putuparri and the Rainmakers.

After the screening, there will be a short Q&A with director, Anne Tsoulis, and Dr Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian physician, anaesthetist and trauma expert who appears in the film. He is head of the emergency medicine department at the University Hospital of Northern Norway. Dr Mads has volunteered his services as a doctor during the three Gaza conflicts. His book Gaza War, Eyes on Gaza (2009) has been translated into several languages. Dr Gilbert has been lauded as a hero in Norwegian media for his work, giving him the title of Norwegian of the Year several times. In 2013, King Harald V appointed Gilbert as a Commander of the Order of St. Olav.

FROM UNDER THE RUBBLE was financed through Screen Australia, South Australian Film Corporation and Film Victoria.