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The Zoo
 
 

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THE ZOO


Directed by | Hayden Campbell

Genre documentary  |  Length: 43mins  |  Year of production: 2005


A truly unique look at life in the West Bank through the eyes of Palestine’s one and only zookeeper/veterinarian/taxidermist, Dr Sami Khader. Just 15 kilometres from the outskirts of Tel Aviv and surrounded by Jewish settlements, Qalqiliya is completely fenced off from the rest of the world by Israel’s Wall. Within this urban canton lies Qalqilya Zoo. Like the town itself, the zoo has been hit hard by Israeli army raids when its zebras succumbed to tear gas after a neighbouring high school was attacked during a demonstration, images of the devastated zoo made international television news. This documentary goes beyond those reports and looks for the real story, accompanying the voluble and entertaining Dr Sami on a torturous mission to rescue two baboons from a rundown facility in Nablus. The degree of bureaucracy and checkpoint subterfuge entailed turns an already bizarrely symbolic task into a flabbergasting exercise in absurdity. The Zoo is hilarious, heartbreaking, and infuriating viewing all at once.