On Saturday 19 March 2022 and as part of Celebrating Syria Festival, we had the film screening of 2 films: (In the Eyes of Syrians: Double Vision and Sugar Cage) at Contact Theatre. The two films were followed by a post-screening discussion with the filmmakers.
Double Vision, 2021, 25 min, Arabic with English subtitles
A documentary that follows and expands the map of the Syria-Lebanon rally that began in 1974 and later ended abruptly due to war. The film uses different media, such as animation and documentary material filmed between 2008 and 2011, along a path that runs parallel to that of the rally. The map ends at the meeting point of the two paths, where everyone encountered along the way joins the rally team, including the army, belligerent parties and owners of rest stops.
Sugar Cage, 2019, 60 min, Arabic with English subtitles
In an attempt to record a standstill time, Zeina Al Qahwaji trains her camera to examine the intimate life of her ageing parents over the course of 8 years since the beginning of a civil movement followed by a war in Syria. Observing scenes of isolation, fear and stagnancy that overshadow life at home. Yet they are still equated with enough sensibilities and love bonding them together against the heaviness of time and war.
This event is part of the 5th Celebrating Syria: a Festival of Arts and Culture. For the full festival programme, please visit celebratingsyria.org
Building on 4 years of success, culminating in an entirely virtual festival in December 2020, Rethink Rebuild Society persists with its creative mission, showcasing the talent and creativity of Syrian artists in the UK and presenting a truly bright image of Syria and its culture and heritage, an image that has long been neglected amidst the war and the refugee crisis.
The theme of this year’s festival is ‘Distance’, a title that is ‘inspired’ by social distancing measures imposed on us all as a result of the COVID-19, where isolation and distance became the norm and many people stayed away from loved ones. ‘Distance’ also sums up the experiences of many Syrian and non-Syrian people, forcibly displaced, exiled or refugees around the world as a result of injustice.