In "Yesterday, Please Forgive Me," filmmaker Anna Zumwalt presents a raw and unflinching 9-minute autobiographical documentary that captures her profound grief and the devastating aftermath of Israeli strikes on Gaza's Al Fakhoura School. This quick and gritty, hastily edited film uses rough before-and-after footage to reveal Anna's own trauma and despair as she struggles with the helplessness of being unable to aid her innocent students and friends caught in the conflict. This poignant documentary is a significantly condensed version of a full-length project serving as a testament to the human cost of war and the enduring spirit of those affected.
"Yesterday, Please Forgive Me" is an autobiographical short documentary that captures the raw, emotional journey of a Western woman as she grapples with the retaliatory aftermath in Gaza, after October 7, 2023. In the wake of devastating bombings, her innocent students have been displaced or killed, and the school that once connected students in Gaza with those in America lies in ruins. Despite the unimaginable loss, she encounters voices that cruelly justify the suffering of her young students and their families as a consequence of supporting terrorists.
Through this deeply personal narrative, the film explores the profound human suffering that arises when one is forced to witness the annihilation of loved ones while feeling utterly powerless to intervene. The documentary delves into the emotional torment and helplessness experienced by the woman, challenging viewers to confront the brutal realities of conflict and question the true nature of terrorism. What does it mean to be a terrorist? What drives such unimaginable cruelty?
"Yesterday, Please Forgive Me" also draws a poignant correlation between the unjust blame placed on her innocent students for the actions of their political leaders and the irony seen globally, including in the USA. Everywhere, including here, political sides are increasingly polarized. And in close races, the winners take all. Those who don't align with the policies of a new administration often deem voters of "the other side" responsible, and culpable, for any unwanted consequences. This film invites viewers to reflect on the broader implications of political scapegoating and the human cost of such deep divisions.
"Yesterday, Please Forgive Me" is a powerful and heart-wrenching exploration of personal and collective grief, resilience, and the enduring human spirit in the face of overwhelming adversity.

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