Winner of Prix Italia 2011: TV-documentaries - Current Affairs.
The Jury said:"A film that provided a powerful and visceral insight into a story full of controversy and polarised passions. A compelling example of what current affairs is charged to do - not only to explain stories after they have happened, but take us right into them, as they happen"
NRK followed Espen Goffeng, a Norwegian activist and family man, before, during and after the Israeli navy intercepted the flotilla conveying activists and sorely-needed aid to Gaza in May 2010. Nine activists were killed and more than 50 activists and soldiers injured in the operation.
The programme captures the activists' optimism and enthusiasm as they plan the venture prior to departure. It also records how those taking part had to sign a declaration that they themselves assumed all responsibility should they be injured, shot or killed - and, not least, the bloodbath that ensued when the ship was boarded and communication with the outside world cut off. Some weeks after the incident, the team again interviews some of the injured activists, who give their own version of what happened.
The team also spent some time in Jerusalem, where they interviewed Lieutenant-Colonel Avital Leiboviceh of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) a few hours before the commandos boarded the ships. In her office she describes how the IDF planned to intercept the flotilla. Early next morning she met representatives of the world press and announced that 10 activists had been killed and many people injured, among them six Israeli soldiers. Some weeks after the boarding, the team interviewed an Israeli commando who was wounded in the action.
NRK's team were among the few journalists permitted to enter Gaza at this time. There we see an Israeli gunboat fire at a Palestinian fishing boat and also talk to two children as they wait expectantly for the school accessories stored in the holds of the approaching ships.