Lebanon, United Kingdom, Denmark, 93 min
Through over twenty years’ worth of recordings taken from family videos, Mahdi Fleifel provides a rare opportunity to enter the Palestinian refugee camp at Ain el-Hilweh. We discover one country hidden within another, representing the complex nature of Lebanon like a Russian doll. The director’s voiceover accompanies us as we explore this microcosm where enjoyable and serious moments are interwoven.
Like a Russian doll representing the complex nature of Lebanon, we discover one country hidden within another. 400,000 Palestinians live in Lebanon, the majority of them grouped together in dozens of camps. From over twenty years of family video recordings, Mahdi Fleifel creates a unique opportunity to enter the Palestinian refugee camp at Ain el-Hilweh in the south of the country. Like his father before him, Fleifel feels an almost compulsive need to record his life and that of his friends. His camera, serving as magnifying glass and mirror at the same time, seeks to compare his fortunes with those of his friends who remained in the camp. We discover how the football World Cup stirs up passion, the camp suddenly decking itself out in Brazilian, Italian and German flags. We also understand the growing consciousness of the director who, contrary to his friend Abu Iyad, enjoys the precious freedom of leaving Ain el-Hilweh. The director’s voiceover accompanies us as we explore this microcosm where enjoyable and serious moments are interwoven with successful and original freshness.