To Shoot an Elephant

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We have produced a version with enhanced subtitles: click here to download (468mb)

ei interview with Ewa Jasiewicz: “We are all complicit”

If you missed the film or would like to share the film with others, the filmmakers have made it available on DVD & to download free here…

Thanks to all those that attended the Jan 21 screening in Reading!

“…afterwards, of course, there were endless discussions about the shooting of the elephant. The owner was furious, but he was only an Indian and could do nothing. Besides, legally I had done the right thing, for a mad elephant has to be killed, like a mad dog, if it’s owner fails to control it”. – George Orwell defined a way of witnessing Asia that still remains valid.

To shoot an Elephant, a film by Alberto Arce and Mohammed Rujaila, is an eyewitness account from the Gaza strip during the Israeli embargo. The film shot between December 25 2008 and January 16 2009, 21 days of urgent, insomniac dirty shuddering images from the only foreigners who decided and managed to stay in Gaza, embedded with the ambulance workers who pick up the wounded and dead from the streets.

Jan 18, 2010: Global Screening Day

The “To Shoot an Elephant” team calls for a Global Screening Day for Gaza on January 18th, 2010.

Any individual or organisation who wants to raise their voice in protest and solidarity with the people of Gaza can join in by organising a screening event. The documentary “To shoot an elephant” is a an eye witness account of “operation cast lead”which takes you on a trip inside Gaza to counter the Israeli propaganda about what really happened there. The 18th of January is the first anniversary of the so called “ceasefire” and we urge individuals and organisations throughout the world, to screen this film on that day and therefore raise debate about effective forms of action in solidarity with Gaza and against the crime of silence.

The situation in Gaza has for so long been what the UN describes as a “prelude to genocide”. The Gaza Strip has been under siege for the last two and a half years. “Operation Cast Lead”  occurred one year ago. No-one, absolutely no-one in the international community has changed their attitude or position in their relations with Israel. Israel is being given complete freedom, it doesn’t matter what they do to the Palestinians, to the UN or to the Red Cross by bombing them relentlessly, even with white phosphorus, an  illegal chemical weapon. Israel is acting above the law, with it’s own law, a law of the jungle that the international community has decided to approve.

Interview with filmmaker Alberto Arce at ei: “My film makes you part of Gaza’s reality”

From where is this being convened?

From the production team on this documentary, from the hearts of its film makers and all the people who have participated in the production, distribution and post-production. And from all the different groups, collectives and networks of support for Palestine who join together to form part of what we are now convening.

This is because, from the very beginning, we believe that it’s possible to achieve a different kind of production, diffusion and distribution of documentaries to that which has been established in the main circuits of conventional distribution. Circuits in which our message and discourse aren’t addressed. This is why we utilise other means: Cooperation, collaboration and mutual support have played an important part in characterising the process behind the creation of To shoot an elephant. Our use of Creative Commons licensing, copyleft and what has become known as “open source cinema” is all due to these elements.

Through Creative Commons licensing we wish to guarantee free access to this documentary, its modification, copying and distribution, as much as the freedom of its dissemination in any part of the world and in whatever way possible. In this way we can guarantee that the message of those who resist the bombing by the Israeli forces in the Gaza strip is heard, because the cries of those who’ve lost so many loved ones and who feel so much pain on a daily basis can be heard. This way confronting the international community’s silence when it comes to Israel’s war crimes.

And finally, because the cooperation of all those who believe that the world could be a better, fairer place to live in through our efforts and our will for change.  And so the participation in this global screening could be a small step towards that.

How to organise?

The initial idea of the global screening is to show the documentary To shoot an elephant on the 18th of January 2010, coinciding with the first anniversary of the so-called “ceasefire” or end of the Israeli bombing of Gaza. What we are hoping for is that the screenings take place in as many places as possible throughout the world on a day which is symbolic in remembering what happened.

The screening can be organised by any political or social collective, group or individual whatsoever,  the only condition being, that there is no charge or entry fee. The idea behind the screening is to create discussion and awareness of the situation in Palestine, to evaluate what has occurred in Gaza after this latest attack and to be able to clearly and openly voice criticism of Israel and of the international community, who with its silence, permits the situation to continue.

The documentary can be obtained in two ways: the purchase of the DVD through the website or by sending an E-mail to

Also, it will soon be available in a Torrent through a link which will appear on the website.

As well as showing the documentary, we would like to propose to the groups participating, the possibility of a mass distribution of the film through these events. The idea is to make copies of the DVD available to these groups for sale before, during and after the screenings.

The participating groups will be able to purchase the DVD’s at half price, which is 6 €. Therefore by the sale at the retail price of 12 € the different groups will be able to obtain funds for their collectives or organisations, in order to continue their respective activities.

Eguzki Bideoak, the videoactivist collective which has co-produced To shoot an elephant will be responsible for arranging and producing copies of the film. The money obtained through sales of the DVD will be used for production of the said DVD and to support similar projects in the future.


We ask those of you who’ve already got in touch with us, if you have the intention of selling them at your event to communicate to us your decision on the numbers of DVD’s that you require, if possible by December 20th.

For those who are reading this for the first time, please respond to us as soon as possible, taking into account that the deadline for shipment around the world is the 7th of January 2010.

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