Sun 9 July 2017, 4.30pm
Screening and Q&A with Soudade Kaadan
Dir. Soudade Kaadan
Syria – Lebanon, 2017 (75 mins)
Tickets £10.80 – £13.50
10% off 2 screenings
15% off 3 or more screenings
for Shubbak films at the Barbican
6-year-old Ahmad doesn’t want to remember that he is Syrian. He recently lost his older brother to the war in Syria, and now lives with his family in a Lebanese refugee camp. Traumatised, overwhelmed, disengaged, he prefers to be silent.
Kaadan’s patient observation accompanies Ahmad as he recovers a sense of childhood lightness despite his grief. Amid endless images of violence, the film poses a question about the future, and in Kaadan’s words, “explores the impossibility to verbally express what is happening in Syria now.” Thoughtful and heartbreaking, we are proud to present the UK premiere of Obscure at Shubbak.
The film poses a question about the proliferation of films about Syria, and yet the director’s own reluctance, inability, or perhaps refusal to make films. “I felt the void. I just couldn’t hold a camera. How would you film the destruction surrounding you while there is a daily visual flood of death? A scene of the massacre near my neighbourhood, near my home; a photo on Facebook for a close friend died by a mortar’s hit; a video on YouTube for a little girl that lost her head: all this has become a part of our daily lives. Syrian filmmakers are becoming a machine for horror reproduction, but can we tell ordinary stories now?”
Attempting to understand the relationship between the image and the reality, but also reflecting on the future. “When the situation in Syria rapidly aggravated and the media was drowning the audience with cruel images of massacres and torture; this question struck me: How can we live with all those brutal images? Is it easier if we never saw those images? Is obscurity a relief? Is this why Ahmad refuses to remember where is he from?”
Soudade Kaadan is an award winning Syrian director currently based in Lebanon. Educated in both theatre criticism and filmmaking, she has directed and produced documentary films for Al Jazeera, UNDP and UNICEF. She is currently working on her first feature fiction film.
Shubbak’s film programme is presented in partnership with the Arab Fund for Art and Culture – AFAC and the Barbican, with additional support from Al Mawred Al Thaqafy, British Council and Molinare.