2007, Tue, Dec 182008, Tue, Jan 08

Film programme 7: Syria

New documentary films from the Middle East

"I am the one who brings flowers to her grave" (film still)


16.15 h

Before vanishing (Qabl al-Ikhtifa')

D: Joude Gorani, Syria/ France 2005, 14 mins

Joude Gorani offers insights into the discrepancy between ideology and reality. The film documents the contaminated state of the ostensibly idyllic river Barada around Damascus.


16.40 h

Silence

D: Rami Farah, Syria/ Danmark 2006, 35 mins, without subtitles

Quneitra, since the Six-Day-War a buffer zone between Israel and Syria on the Golan Hights, carries memories and stories of the past. The film shows how vivid they still are in between ostensibly barren sand areas and ruins.


17.20 h

I am the one who brings flowers to her grave

D: Hala Alabdalla and Ammar Al Beik, Syria 2006, 110 mins

A cinematic map of Syria. It arose while two directors were travelling around searching for a location and during encounters with friends. The film is dedicated to the memory of Hala Alabdalla’s generation - their political compromises and disillusions, prison and exile.


17.15 h

Cousins

D: Ali al-Atassi, Syria 2001, 50 mins

The film revolves around Riyad al-Turk, the founding member of the Syrian Communist Party, who spent over seventeen years in jail and is regarded as Syria’s Mandela. ‘Cousins’ reflects upon his survival strategies during his time in prison.


20.10 h

Something sweet

D: Hala Mohammad, Syria 2006, 50 mins

The poet and film-maker Hala Mohammad gives three formerly imprisoned critics of the government – a writer, a poet and an actor – an opportunity to speak out.


Film Directors


Hala Alabdalla, born in Hama, Syria. ’I am the One Who Brings Flowers to Her Grave’ is her directorial debut. She lives in Damascus and Paris.

Ali al-Atassi is a journalist, fillmmaker and human rights activist. His writings include contributions to the literary supplement of the Lebanese daily Al-Nahar. He made his name with his documentary film ‘Cousins’. He lives in Beirut and Damascus.

Hala Mohammad, born in Latakia, Syria. She studied film-making in Paris and worked as a costume designer. She writes for the Al-Wasat magazine and the newspaper Al-Hayat.

Joude Gorani, born in Syria in 1980. After graduating from the FEMIS in Paris in 2005 with a degree in cinematography, she now lives and works in Syria. ‘Before Vanishing’ is her graduation film.

Rami Farah, born 1980. He is a dancer, choreographer, actor and video artist. Currently, he studies mime at the Conservatory of Damascus.