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Slideshow

  • A group of people wearing hijabs stand near a giraffe statue, their backs to the camera.
PREVIOUSLY PLAYED

WAITING FOR GIRAFFES
and
WILD: LIFE, DEATH AND LOVE IN A WILDLIFE HOSPITAL

Through Tuesday, February 18

WAITING FOR GIRAFFES
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY MARCO DE STEFANIS

WILD: LIFE, DEATH AND LOVE IN A WILDLIFE HOSPITAL
DIRECTED BY URIEL SINAI AND DANEL ELPELEG

1:00   3:45   7:00   9:30

WAITING FOR GIRAFFES is an anomaly: a charming documentary on Israeli-Palestinian cooperation based on a shared passion for animals. Dr. Sami Khader, head veterinarian at the only zoo in the Palestinian territories, is trying to acquire replacement giraffes (theirs died during the Intifada) with the help of his mentor zoo, run by Israelis in Jerusalem. WILD visits an Israeli hospital where injured owls, snakes (one with a “shoulder wound”), hyenas, and leopards are given medical care so they may be released back into the wild. As metaphors for the Middle East quagmire, these films suggest that no problems are so intractable that they can’t be solved by foregrounding selflessness and decency.

Presented with support from the Joan S. Constantiner Fund for Jewish and Holocaust Film, Donated by Leon Constantiner and Family.

WAITING FOR GIRAFFES
THE NETHERLANDS / BELGIUM   2016   55 MINS.   IN ENGLISH AND ARABIC WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES

WILD: LIFE, DEATH AND LOVE IN A WILDLIFE HOSPITAL
ISRAEL   2018   59 MINS.   IN HEBREW WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES

Reviews

“Film Forum has historically been a particularly fertile source of Jewish-themed films… (Often with) serendipitous results, like the premiere of a double-bill of WAITING FOR GIRAFFES and WILD: LIFE, DEATH, AND LOVE IN A WILDLIFE HOSPITAL. The pairing, one Palestinian (albeit with an Italian director), one Israeli, underlines the way that a common interest, in this case animals and their well-being, can bridge the seemingly insurmountable rift in the politics of the Middle East. GIRAFFES… is particularly charming. (The film) finds an unexpected point of entry into the conflict, focusing on Qalqilya Zoo, the only zoo in Palestine. Marco de Stefanis, the director, focuses on the day-to-day, hand-(or claw or hoof)-to-mouth struggles of the zoo under the devoted and loving leadership of head zoologist Dr. Sami Khader. The zoo, which has a ramshackle charm, is a struggling but energetic enterprise aided by a core of dedicated staff and enthusiastic visitors.”
- George Robinson, The Jewish Week