October 7 survivor: ‘I can’t sit through the Nova film’

Noa Kalash’s footage from the Nova massacre features in a new documentary


Left to Right: Noa Kalash, Nova music festival survivor; Dan Pe’er, director of #NOVA; Meny Aviram, producer, and his wife, Einat Aviram, attach padlocks to the Lovelock Hostage Bridge at the JW3 before the UK premiere of the film (Photo: Marcel Knobil)

A survivor of the Nova music festival terrorist attack has said how she was unable to sit through a new documentary on the massacre when it was premiered in London.

Noa Kalash, 23, whose phone footage from October 7 features in the film #NOVA, has said how she had to step outside in the middle of the screening at JW3 as she realised watching the film “wasn’t a good decision to make”.

“I already saw it once in Israel at the premiere of the movie, and I did the same mistake then as I did now,” said Kalash. “I thought, ‘I'm strong enough, I can move past it,’ but it just threw me back to that day.”

The harrowing documentary chronicles the atrocities committed by Hamas at the site where 364 people were murdered, many more injured and 40 were taken to Gaza as hostages. A recent UN report has confirmed that some October 7 victims were raped by the terrorists.

Featuring raw footage from survivors’ phones and terrorists’ bodycams, it stitches together a moment-by-moment rendering of the horrific October 7 assault. 

Director Dan Pe’er and producer Meny Aviram joined Kalash for a Q&A following the screening. 

Kalash said her videos, taken from the bush where she and a friend hid from terrorist gunfire for eight hours, captured the moments when she “started to lose hope”.

“It was a moment when I realised, maybe I need to say goodbye – that’s why I took the video in the first place.”

Pe’er said he would have liked #NOVA, which was released for international audience on December 23, to have been shown in London earlier, especially because London is “one of the biggest cities with mass pro-Palestinian demonstrations”.

“A lot of the demonstrations are very anti-Israel, denouncing the right of Israel to exist; they are borderline antisemitic,” said Aviram. “I think showing the movie in London is very important and more screenings in London should happen.”

Prior to the screening, Pe’er, Aviram and Kalash wrote personal messages on padlocks to attach to the Lovelock Hostage Bridge, a recent installation at the entrance to JW3. The ritual was especially poignant for the filmmakers and the Nova survivor, who placed their padlocks close to those bearing the names of friends still held hostage in Gaza.

According to a spokesperson from JW3, several volunteer mental health practitioners were on site in case audience members needed support after viewing the disturbing footage.



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