A World Not Ours
BERLIN INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FESTIVAL -- PEACE FILM AWARD
ABU DHABI FILM FESTIVAL -- FIPRESCI PRIZE
TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FESTIVAL -- BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM
CPH:DOX -- COPENHAGEN INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FESTIVAL -- REEL TALENT AWARD
"This affecting, humor-tinged debut feature walks us through the history without concealing the sense of toxic enforced stasis visible in so many of the lives portrayed." – The New York Times
"Along with its anger, Fleifel's revealing film contrives, against the odds, to derive everyday humour from the refugee experience." – The Guardian
Ain al-Hilweh, the Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon built nearly 70 years ago, is home to over 100,000 refugees crammed into a 1 square kilometer piece of land. "A World Not Ours" tells the story of this stateless community through the lens of one extended family, the director's own. The film interweaves more than 20 years of home movies, archival news footage, interviews and other documentation of life in the camp, its highs and lows and its emotional and psychological toll.
Abu Iyad is approaching middle age in growing disillusionment with the lifelong promise of return, which has left him shattered and angrier with his own leadership than with his so-called enemy. Memories of the Word Cup and his beloved Italian team are one of the few things he seems to still hold onto. Two decades older, Said has lost the optimism and joie de vivre that once defined him, and has become increasingly solitary and unpredictable. In his early eighties, Grandfather is now a widower and chooses to stay in the camp where he has lived since the exodus, mostly sitting and watching passersby instead of accepting his son's invitation to join his family in Denmark. He insists on trying to instill a belief in the right of return in his grandchildren whenever he gets the chance.
Most recently, an influx of refugees fleeing the Syrian Civil War has nearly doubled Ain al-Hilweh's population, creating an increasingly restive situation. "A World Not Ours" is a multi-layered portrait of this community prior to their arrival, and illustrative of what they might expect from life in the camp.
93 minutes, in Arabic and English with English subtitles. 2012
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