Vera & Donald Blinken Open Society Archives
Re Verzio Film Series – A World Not Ours
Wednesday, April 2, 6 pm
A World Not Ours
Mahdi Fleifel / 2012 / Lebanon, UK / 93 min / Arabic, English
Mahdi’s father has always filmed his family. One of the few to get out of the Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon, he maintains contact with his relatives through video. Mahdi, who grew up in Europe, carries on the tradition, filming family scenes on summer visits. Filmed over more than 20 years by multiple generations of the same family, this intimate portrait shows the lives of three generations in exile in the Ain el-Helweh camp. The director’s guides are three generations of relatives and friends, each dealing with different levels of resignation: the grandfather refuses to leave and abandons hope of going back to Palestine; the uncle is only interested in his birds; and the cousin, while slowly becoming disillusioned about Palestine’s future, heads to Europe. Imbued with nostalgia and striking a wide range of emotional notes, A World Not Ours is more than a family portrait: it is a sensitive and illuminating study of belonging and friendship.