Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
We look at 'Fantasia' in a brand new episode of Ink & Paint - and don't forget to subscribe to our podcast!x
review, Waiting For Giraffes, Waiting, For, Giraffes, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Marco De Stefanis, Documentary

WAITING FOR GIRAFFES

★★★★

A TALL ORDER FOR AN IMPOSSIBLE ZOO

SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Charlie David Page
10th June 2017

The Qalqilya Zoo is almost an impossibility. The only municipal zoo in the Palestinian territories, it’s situated a short distance from the Israeli-occupied West Bank. In a location rife with conflict, it seems impossible that a zoo should be established there - and yet, it acts as something of a beacon of hope to the Palestinian people who visit it.

'Waiting For Giraffes' follows Dr Sami Khader, the life force behind the Qalqilya Zoo. He’s raised many of the animals by hand, and has worked hard at bringing the zoo up to international standards. His dream is to become a member of international zoo association EAZA, allowing him to bring a new giraffe to Qalqilya.

'WAITING FOR GIRAFFES' TRAILER

Dr Sami is an inspiration. He’s quite a character - he might officially be the zoo’s vet, but he’s so much more: mentor to fellow workers, persistent innovator, passionate animal carer, and Palestinian refugee. He is inarguably the protagonist for this film, and his hard work and dedication well outside his line of duty has done so much to change his workplace.

Like Dr Sami himself, the film aims to avoid politics - but as is referenced in the film, it’s impossible to do anything in Palestine without getting political. Even purchasing more Palestinian-owned land to expand the zoo requires the approval of the Israeli authorities, and travelling to the closest zoo in Israel requires extensive paperwork for visas. Everything is a complicated challenge in a situation that seems like it would fall apart were it not for Dr Sami holding it together.

Dr Sami is an inspiration. He’s quite a character - he might officially be the zoo’s vet, but he’s so much more.

We witness the evolution of the zoo as it undergoes the process of applying for EAZA - a challenging task, but one that Dr Sami is determined to conquer. It’s made all the more difficult by those around him - in one scene, Dr Sami has to tell one of his co-workers he’s putting all of the plastic rubbish in the wrong bin, clearly marked “metal waste”. The problems appear endless.

Yet Dr Sami brings a touch of humour to any situation, and the ability to adapt creatively becomes a vital tool. He shows a lot of heart, though without being overtly sentimental. This is reflected in snippets of interviews with local Palestinians, who may not be familiar with him directly, but are most certainly positive about the zoo.

At times, the challenges of Qalqilya Zoo seem like a metaphor for the Israeli-Palestinian situation. Despite the hardship, Dr Sami and his team persevere with their goals, and it’s hard not to want them to succeed. By the end of ‘Waiting For Giraffes’, you’ll be rooting for them too - and amazed at the impossible zoo they have forged.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: TBA
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Marco De Stefanis
PRODUCERS: Fleur Knopperts
Denis Vaslin
www.waitingforgiraffes.com
waitingforgiraffes
waitingforgiraffes
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Looking for more Sydney Film Festival reviews? Click here to check out our collection of this year's highlights.
Agatha Christie’s Marple: Series 1-3 - The classic crime novels come to life
TRENDINGWIN AGATHA CHRISTIE’S MARPLE: SERIES 1-3The classic crime novels come to life
The Personal History of David Copperfield - Charles Dickens' classic reimagined through a comedic lens
TRENDINGWIN THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELDCharles Dickens' classic reimagined through a comedic lens
Good Girls: Season 2 - It's never been so good to be bad
TRENDINGWIN GOOD GIRLS: SEASON 2It's never been so good to be bad
Romantic Road - Falling in love with India, the Rolls Royce and each other
TRENDINGROMANTIC ROADFalling in love with India, the Rolls Royce and each other
xXx: Return Of Xander Cage - The good, the bad and the ugly
TRENDINGxXx: RETURN OF XANDER CAGEThe good, the bad and the ugly
In My Blood It Runs - An eye-opening tale of struggling Indigenous youth
TRENDINGIN MY BLOOD IT RUNSAn eye-opening tale of struggling Indigenous youth
Over the Limit - A real-life psychological thriller
TRENDINGOVER THE LIMITA real-life psychological thriller
Melbourne Documentary Film Festival 2020 - The reviews
TRENDINGMELBOURNE DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL 2020The reviews
Shirley - A hypnotic dreamscape of one of the greatest writers of all time
TRENDINGSHIRLEYA hypnotic dreamscape of one of the greatest writers of all time
Inseparable Bros - A heartwarming tale about disability and the power of friendship
TRENDINGINSEPARABLE BROSA heartwarming tale about disability and the power of friendship
The Big Trip - Should have stayed at home
TRENDINGTHE BIG TRIPShould have stayed at home
Beyond The River - An inspirational sporting journey
TRENDINGBEYOND THE RIVERAn inspirational sporting journey
Top End Wedding - Outback fantastic
TRENDINGTOP END WEDDINGOutback fantastic
Batman and Me - Ironically, this film is <i>not</i> for Batman fans
TRENDINGBATMAN AND MEIronically, this film is not for Batman fans
About A Boy - All grown up 15 years on
TRENDINGABOUT A BOYAll grown up 15 years on
A White, White Day - Love, loss and anger in Iceland
TRENDINGA WHITE, WHITE DAYLove, loss and anger in Iceland
God of the Piano - A tale that tickles the ivories
TRENDINGGOD OF THE PIANOA tale that tickles the ivories
River's Edge - The kids aren't alright
TRENDINGRIVER'S EDGEThe kids aren't alright
The Personal History of David Copperfield - A rhapsodic delight on taking ownership of our own stories
TRENDINGTHE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELDA rhapsodic delight on taking ownership of our own stories
Flying High - Still landing jokes 40 years after take-off
TRENDINGFLYING HIGHStill landing jokes 40 years after take-off
© 2011 - 2020 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us