June 14, 2024


Buzz The Music

Hamas’s gleeful slaughter at Nova festival is why it must be eradicated

Documentary plays out like a horror film, laying bare this was no act of resistance, but hate-motivated murder

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The holiday season should be a time for joy and peace, but in a world very much not at peace, plagued by a rising tide of coordinated terrorism and antisemitism, it must also be a time for reflection. This is why I’m making an extremely nontraditional movie recommendation to add to your seasonal watchlist that lays bare the ruthlessness and sadism of Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7.

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If anyone can view Yes TV’s #NOVA documentary, a compilation of real-time footage captured before and during the Supernova music festival massacre — the most lethal concert attack ever, anywhere — and not unequivocally condemn Hamas as pure evil and call for their eradication, they have lost any sense of humanity.

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This includes Justin Trudeau’s Liberals, who continue, apparently undeterred by being publicly thanked by Hamas leadership for their support, to proclaim moral equivalency between Israel and a genocidal hate organization where there is clearly none. 

The film isn’t particularly gory or violent, at least not compared to the uncensored footage I viewed at an Israeli Consulate screening in early November. I also believe it’s important as many people as possible see that, but I understand why some feel unable to do so. #NOVA is undoubtedly disturbing and enraging, but in a way that risks less long-term trauma for viewers. 

There’s been much reporting on the videos captured by Hamas as they gleefully slaughtered innocents for no reason other than the fact they were Jews, however the young Israelis at Supernova also captured a trove of powerful footage. #NOVA largely relies on their phone recordings and social media posts to tell the story of how a sea of happiness and peace so quickly turned to hell on Earth. 

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The documentary begins with excited young festival-goers and DJs preparing to attend Supernova and follows them as they party with friends and dance the night away, clearly having the time of their young lives. As viewers who already know what happens next as time stamps flash on the screen advancing the hours, there’s a distinct horror in seeing the moments before those same lives change forever, at least 364 of them murdered and 40 taken hostage. 

Around 6 a.m., Hamas rockets begin to bombard Israel’s Iron Dome. Around 6:40 a.m. an organizer asks the DJ to stop his set, and the crowd is told to lay low and cover their heads. While the mood undeniably changes, most patrons still appear more concerned, some annoyed at the turn of events, than the abject terror and panic that’s soon to come.

At this point, #NOVA cuts to footage of Hamas terrorists riding toward the festival, their excitement and elation matching that of young festival-goers little more than an hour ago. The juxtaposition between joy found in music and friends and joy found in a planned murderous rampage is one of the more darkly poignant parts of the film.

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Soon, gunshots are heard in the background of young Israelis’ videos. The descent into raw fear, anguish and dread happens in minutes and only deepens as the reality of what’s happening becomes more and more clear.

Nova festival
Yes TV’s #NOVA documentary, a compilation of real-time footage captured before and during the Supernova music festival massacre.

Hamas terrorists hunt these innocent young people in what’s clearly not an act of war or resistance, but a hate-motivated mass shooting and pogrom. Festival-goers attempt to escape in vehicles and on foot, but the attack is well-planned and there’s simply nowhere for them to run to where they can’t be followed. 

The festival-goers film themselves as they drive past dozens of abandoned and charred cars, blurred bodies hanging out of them and scattered across the road. They film themselves hiding amongst trees, laying on the ground being careful not to make a sound as though they are in a horror film hiding from a relentless psychopath — which, in effect, they are. 

The video of hostages being corralled by Hamas attackers is especially emotional, even though there’s no death on screen. Young bodies, many bloodied, being literally piled into the back of trucks in scenes reminiscent of Nazi concentration camps. A woman being driven away on a motorbike, wedged between two terrorists, as she screams and reaches out for a male friend metres away, who is also being led away by Hamas assailants. 

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If you can’t bring yourself to watch the entire 54-minute documentary, at least view its final minutes, which begin at the 50-minute mark. It’s one of the most powerful and heartbreaking in-memoriam segments I’ve ever seen. 

Brief clips of victims captured by themselves or friends enjoying the music festival, or in some cases in the last moments of their young lives, play before more traditional portraits appear. It leaves no doubt these were innocents slaughtered for no reason but antisemitic hate, and that such an atrocity must never be allowed to happen again.

National Post

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