While the corona pandemic keeps a privileged part of the world population in quarantine, precarious living conditions mean that many can’t afford to stay at home. The global economic inequalities have become more visible through this polarization, pointing to a longer history of authority and unequal distribution of labour and wealth, all entangled within neoliberal power relations. With films that leave room for nuances, A Dream for Each deals with the colonial residues of globalised trade, technology and tourism.
Funded by Stiftung Nord-Süd Brücken aus Mitteln der LEZ, the Berliner Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa and the Projektfonds Urbane Praxis
Özge Calafato is a curator, editor and writer. She has worked for numerous film festivals and institutions, including Cinema Akil, the Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF), SANAD Development and Post-Production Fund, Documentarist, DOK Leipzig, DokuFest, The Arab Fund for Arts and the Imagine Science Film Festival. She is co-founder of the National Film Library of the United Arab Emirates.
In Lebanon, for every four million inhabitants there are about 200,000 foreign domestic workers who are deprived of their basic rights and live under constant surveillance. Rather than treated as service providers, the employees are regarded more as economic goods imported by special agencies, living under conditions that resemble a modern variant of the slave trade. With the full consent of the owner Zein, Maher Abi Samra films in the offices of the El Raed Agency. A Maid for Each vividly dissects this system approved by the state, oscillating between the demands of the employers, the sales talent of the agents and the objectification of the female workforce.
Maher Abi Samra was born in Beirut in 1965. He studied Drama Arts at the Lebanese University in Beirut and Audio-Visual Studies at the Institut National de l’Image et du Son, and has worked as a photo-journalist for Lebanese newspapers and international agencies.
Dream Away accompanies the daily lives of young employees of one of the numerous luxury hotels in Sharm El Sheikh. Post-revolutionary unrest and terrorist attacks have left the resort on the Red Sea deserted. The hotel complexes are uninhabited, the water aerobics classes are left unattended, the nightlife areas are spookily empty. The tourists fly over the city, but they do not land here anymore. With a somnambulistic attention, Dream Away explores the longings and hardships of young Egyptians whose future remains uncertain.
Marouan Omara and Johanna Domke have been collaborating as a directing duo since 2012. Their films are hybrids between fiction and documentary, crafted beautifully through magical realism. Their joint debut Crop (2013) received international acclaim at festivals including IFFR and DOK Leipzig.
Mahdi Fleifel, UK/Denmark 2014, 13 Min.
A Man Returned
Mahdi Fleifel, UK/Denmark/Netherlands 2016, 30 Min.
A Drowning Man
Mahdi Fleifel, UK/Denmark/Greece 2017, 15 Min.
I Signed the Petition
Mahdi Fleifel, UK/Germany/Switzerland 2018, 11 Min.
Mahdi Fleifel’s compelling films challenge how we think about fundamental questions of human existence: what does it mean to have a home or a homeland? What does it mean to be a refugee? Showcasing four of his award-winning short films, the programme follows the trajectory of Fleifel’s work over the past decade, urging us to reexamine how we conceptualise Palestine and Palestinian identity.
Born in Dubai, Mahdi Fleifel lives and works between Denmark, England and Greece. His critically acclaimed debut feature A World Not Ours (2012) premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and received over 30 awards. A Man Returned (2016) won a Silver Bear at Berlinale, A Drowning Man (2017) was selected for the Official Competition at Cannes and was nominated for a BAFTA.