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International Programme 2015
Possessed by Djinn Dalia Al Kury

A father who killed his little daughter because he believed she was possessed by a demon. The reconstruction of a Jordanian criminal case and the exploration of a spiritual parallel world.

Possessed by Djinn

Documentary Film
75 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Lino Rettinger
Dalia Al Kury
Zeid Hamdan
Eric Gottesman, Mutaz Sinokrot
Anika Simon
Dalia Al Kury
Bedouin Addy, Hamza Arnaout, Dalia Al Kury
In this part of the world, Djinns are associated with the genie from Aladdin’s magic lamp. Not so in Jordan, where a father killed his four-year-old daughter because he thought she was possessed by a demon. Starting with this case, the director Dalia Al Kury researches the (scandalous) progress of the trial and delves deeper and deeper into a parallel world where exorcism and folk belief are still practiced along with the Quran. In the process she enters into the collective unconscious of a society ruled by taboos. She demonstrates that Djinns are found mainly where there is non-conformity – in terms of moral ideas, codes of behaviour or mental disorders. The film is saved from becoming a treatise by the filmmaker’s open and visually rich approach to the subject, which reveals obscure aspects and the naivety of the believers. Conversations with her mother also show how closely religion, ritual and the desire for spirituality are interwoven – not just in the Arab world.

Cornelia Klauß