FID MARSEILLE INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FESTIVAL -- SPECIAL MENTION
DUBAI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
CPH:DOX -- COPENHAGEN INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FESTIVAL
VISIONS DU REEL INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FESTIVAL
"The film constructs...a nostalgia for a lost [Syrian] homeland." – The Brooklyn Rail
"[Haunted] strikingly captures the experience of being constantly ready to depart...and depicts how, under such circumstances, the individual becomes more and more vulnerable, exhausted, pressured." – Heinrich Boell Foundation
“A poignant, but radically unsentimental film about what it means to have a place in the world."
– CPH:DOX -- Copenhagen International Documentary Festival
As the Syrian Civil War began to slowly bear down on Damascus, its residents were forced to decide whether to stay and protect their homes or to flee and leave everything behind.
Some residents appear perpetually ready to leave, but seem to be staying nevertheless. They ask themselves how many artillery shellings are too many. The simple act of deciding which family heirlooms to pack carries a sense of loss. Some who had hoped to have finally found home, recognize fleeing as part of a pattern they've experienced throughout their lives in the Middle East. They are unsure if they will have the energy to rebuild from nothing again.
Some make their way to Beirut, and others to various camps in the desert. One plans for exile in the Golan Heights. As they reflect on their experiences, they know the loss of what they are leaving behind, but not where they are going. Some feel they have become vacant like their spaces, or haunted by what they've already forgotten.
Haunted is the first feature film by Liwaa Yazji. She is also an accomplished poet and playwright.
Film Info -- 2014, 113 minutes, in Arabic with English subtitles.
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