On a sweltering summer morning in 2015, the Dutch documentary makers Frederick Mansell and Laurens Samsom cross the border between Israel and Gaza. Carrying cases filled with camera equipment, they walk the red concrete corridor with fences on either side: the entrance to the hermetically sealed Gaza Strip.
During the following year, Frederick and Laurens stay in Gaza regularly. Their aim is to find ordinary life during intermittent spells of relative peace/ in times when the war has briefly calmed down, and they find this in a local football team. Even in Gaza, people dream of distant travels, owning a home or starting a family with their beloved. The circumstances, however, are very much out of the ordinary: suburbs are shot to pieces, people depend on food aid, there is shortage of virtually all primary necessities and there is a constant threat of violence.
“Team Gaza provides an insight into life in the Gaza Strip, like never documented before.”
Beach Camp, a rough area in Gaza City, is home to the Beach Camp football team. Here, an Al-Qasam Brigade fighter and his gentle religious teammate are brought together, and a lighthearted dreamer plays side by side with an ambitious barber. During practice and games, all the struggles and setbacks encountered in every life can be temporarily forgotten. The spectators too, get fully involved. With the suspense of the end of season nearing, stadiums are filled with thousands of excited Gazan fans.
Team Gaza provides an exclusive view of real life inside the Gaza Strip. The documentary makers discretely capture the lives of six young Gazans, looking for happiness.