‘Left Hook’ follows the journey of first female boxing team in war-torn Gaza between the prejudices of the society and the blockade.

Director’s Statement

By Yasser Abu Wazna

No one accepts living under occupation. However, generations of Palestinians have been left helplessly alone facing Israel’s aggressive occupation. They are struggling for their right to live and dream. In the Gaza Strip, where bombardment and blockade are part of everyday life, a group of teenage girls is determined to become Gaza’s first professional female boxers.

When I accidently encountered the team for the first time boxing in public on Gaza beach, I wanted to find out what it would be like to be one of those starry-eyed teenage girls. How did they keep their dream to become professional boxers alive, challenging Gaza’s cruel life with bare fists and setting such a good example to their people. It seemed to be such a rich story with so much potential.  An innocent scream against aggression and occupation, and a punch against a male-dominated society. Their actions could help us understand more the nature of the struggle in the Gaza Strip. 

The issues that women face in sport are severe. But nothing can stop these girls from reaching their goal. I wish this film will inspire other women to keep fighting whatever their obstacles may be. In Gaza’s male-dominated boxing community, these female boxers are fighting for their right to participate in sport in Gaza’s public parks and places. For them, the question is not who is going to let them box, but who is going to stop them.

I hope this film will motivate audiences to have a deeper understanding about the situation in Gaza.  As a filmmaker who has witnessed the recent cycles of violence over the last few years, I worry how such a never-ending situation will impact Gaza’s future generations. Hopefully, despite their tough environment, Gaza’s female boxers are proof that life always wins over oppression. Through their own determination to fulfill their dreams and live a peaceful life, they teach the world an embarrassing lesson: that it is time to end the Israeli occupation over Palestine once and for all. It’s time to support life in Palestine.   

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