La dolce Siria: A Short Film Trilogy

FILM SCREENING AND Q&A WITH DIRECTOR Ammar al-Beik via Skype from Germany

Recommended certificate 15

Directed by Ammar al-Beik

“In his trilogy, Ammar al-Beik films all things that make up an ordinary life: the birth of his own child, kids visiting a circus, a man and a woman fighting, then making love. Yet suddenly some extraordinary events break into these insignificant, mundane moments: street demonstrations and a revolution in the making; Scud missiles being launched on vulnerable cities and its people; the persistent soundtrack of barrel bombs falling from helicopters.” (Dr Donatella Della Ratta, Hyperallergic.com)

 

The Sun’s Incubator (2011). 11 min.

In this film, which was premiered at Venice Film Festival in 2011, al-Beik interweaves autobiography and current events to reflect on life, death and political commitment, reporting the death of Hamza Al-khateeb, the 13-year old boy whose body was mutilated by the security forces in the early days of the Syrian revolution, along with the birth of al-Beik’s own baby daughter. “Revolution is born out of the womb of sadness” says Nizar Qabbani, the most famous Syrian poet of all times.

 

La Dolce Siria (The Sweet Syria) (2014). 23 min.

A satirical response to Federico Fellini’s 1960 comedy-drama La Dolce Vita, this film unfolds as a poignant narrative of the dramatic events affecting Syria and leading to the extinction of love and happiness, which Fellini’s protagonist Marcello Rubini was unsuccessfully looking for decades ago.

“Vita’ is not ‘dolce’ in Syria Federico! No fireworks around the tent Federico. Scud and bombs are the fireworks that we recognise, my friend. No one can tame the lion here in this tent. It’s smashing everything and everyone. I forgot to tell this earlier: Lion in Arabic means Assad’.

 

Kaleidoscope (2015). 20 min.

Photojournalist Ammar meets Marie, his ex-mistress and they decide to spend the night together. She is preoccupied with her film ambitions, while he is obsessed with news from his homeland – Syria.

“Marie and I are escaping together. We are escaping from depression that we both feel. I think my low spirits are due to the guilt I feel towards the youth of the revolution and what is happening in Syria. Tonight, lust and sex are a refuge for us, two defeated people.”

 

Ammar al-Beik Born in Damascus in 1972 and currently in exile in Berlin, al-Beik’s work is often alluding to socio-political issues, and is inspired by the details of his surroundings as he seeks to reveal the complexities of human relationships. He has effortlessly moved between media with an acute sense of capturing narrative structures through subtle nuance and a commitment to the potential of art as an act of.

With the start of the Syrian uprising, al-Beik produced a significant body of work in support of popular resistance, including graphic and digital images and several short films that resume his interest in everyday life while presenting a critical look at the events that led to the country’s demise.

For nearly two decades, al-Beik has contributed to exhibitions and programmes worldwide in Germany, France, USA, Japan, South Korea, among others. He has received several international awards such as Venice Film Festival (2006) and the Busan international short film festival (2012).

 

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Sun 16/07/2017

19:00 – 21:00

 International Anthony Burgess Foundation

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Manchester
M1 5BY
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