Time Under Siege: Between Fiction and Autobiography
“Time Under Siege: Between Fiction and Autobiography” II, is the second of a series of three screenings taking place in Ghent, Brussels and Berlin. Along with Rand Abou Fakher and Zeina Alqahwaji, Syrian women storytelling, the conceptualization of time and family, and autobiographical filmmaking are explored; visually and conversationally.
How do we condense our memories in a one-take frame? How do we summarize 8 years of life? How do these translations transform us? How do we invent and reinvent our voices? What is shared between reality and the screen? All these questions are provoked by the works of Rand Abou Fakher “So We Live” (15’) and Zeina Alqahwaji “Sugar Cage” (60’), and explored together with the audience in a following discussion with the filmmakers.
So We Live (2020) 15' - Rand Abou Fakher
A family in a living room, shot in one take. The blackout curtains are drawn. Everyone tries to keep calm and go about their usual business while outside, bombs are falling. But everyone’s nerves are on edge. Everyday life, in a permanent state of emergency.
Sugar Cage (2019) 60' - Zeina Alqahwaji
In an attempt to record a standstill life, the filmmaker trains her camera to examine the intimate life of her aging 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.
More on the filmmakers
Rand Abou Fakher
A multidisciplinary Syrian artist. She obtained her studies as a flautist in the National Conservatory of Damascus. Her second short film So We Live was premiered in the international competition of the Berlinale 70th Edition and won various prizes including Oscars Qualifying Awards. She coordinated film and music production and performed in theatre.
Syrian filmmaker, obtained her documentary filmmaking master degree in 2017 with “DocNomads”/ Erasmus Mundus joint master program. in 2019; she finished her first feature length documentary (Sugar Cage), premiered at Dok Leipzig 2019 in Germany. The film was granted the best feature prize at the Ismailia Film Festival in Egypt 2021.
Dima Issa-Daibes - Moderator
Born in Belgium, raised in Palestine, Dima came back to Belgium at the age of 18 to pursue higher education in Political Sciences (BA) and Anthropology (MA) from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). Former Blue Book trainee and co-founder of Lagrange Points Brussels. Co-organiser of the event working along with Rand Abou Fakher, she will join the filmmakers in a discussion, inspired by their work and her experience in cultural management between the Arab world and Belgium.