Waiting for Giraffes

Marco De Stefanis

PLEASE NOTE: This film will be screened with DUTCH subtitles.

Dr. Sami is the veterinarian on staff at Qalqilya Zoo, situated in the walled Palestinian city of Qalqilya. He loves his animals and has big plans. For instance, he would love to welcome a couple of giraffes to his zoo.

Dr. Sami loves his animals as if they were his own children. When they are little, he likes to bring them home in a bag and take care of them. His real children are all too eager to stick their fingers between the bars of the temporary habitats he sets up in the living room.

But in order to safeguard the zoo's future and still manage to keep on showing interesting animals to its visitors, it is very important that Dr. Sami and his colleagues manage to join EAZA, the partnership of zoos in Europe and the Middle East. EAZA representatives come to pay the zoo a visit, conducting a formal inspection and making recommendations to improve the animals' living conditions.

Film director Marco de Stefanis watched over the shoulder of Dr. Sami throughout the process, subtly drawing parallels between the caged animals and the visitors to the zoo: residents of a walled city that is almost impossible to leave.

Text: Dirk van der Straaten


Marco De Stefanis
Fleur Knopperts
Country of production
Netherlands, The, Belgium
84 minutes
Spoken language
Arabic, English, Hebrew
Production company
Volya Films