Film Archive

My English Cousin

Documentary Film
Qatar,
Switzerland
2019
82 minutes
subtitles: 
English
German
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Joëlle Bertossa, Flavia Zanon
Karim Sayad
Patrick Tresch
Naïma Bachiri
Miguel Antunes Dias
Fahed wants to change his life. It’s been almost twenty years that he left Algeria. At the time he was full of hope when he arrived at the British seaport of Grimsby, which was long past its heyday. His dream of prosperity evaporated. In order to survive financially he works two jobs in a 50 hour week. It’s true that he now has a residence permit and leads a well-integrated life in a workers’ flat share, but now, at middle age, he longs to go back to his Algerian home, in order to be closer to his mother. And he has marriage plans! But will Fahed manage to settle back in there and find his role after such a long absence? His family don’t quite believe his intentions to return and tease him because his engagement remains a mystery. He has probably gotten too used to the British mentality, an aunt assumes.

So where is Fahed’s home now? Unprejudiced and with an eye for humorous details, Karim Sayad follows his taciturn cousin’s dithering back and forth. A film about personal and not least social turning points, because in the background the two countries England and Algeria are moving towards political upheavals.

Annina Wettstein

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.

Tiny Souls

Documentary Film
France,
Jordan,
Lebanon,
Qatar
2019
85 minutes
subtitles: 
English
German
Credits DOK Leipzig Logo
Dina Naser
Dina Naser
Ronald Heu
Dina Naser, Hasan Abu Hammad
Najwa Khachimi, Qutaiba Barhamji
Dina Naser
Antonin Dalmasso
They and all the others will continue to inspire life, Dina Naser writes at the end of her film about three children of war in Syria. They grow up in a refugee camp in Jordan: Marwa is the eldest, then there’s her sister Ayah and finally Mahmoud, the youngest. They have seven other siblings, but the family was torn apart when one brother in Syria no longer wanted to serve in the army and thus the dictator Assad. Marwa is the heroine of the film. She will soon be grown-up or at least considered almost of marriageable age by her parents. Her mother and father now make sure she doesn’t go out any more. But she already has a boyfriend.

Dina Naser follows the three children’s fate and everyday life over an extended period of time, starting in 2014. The filmmaker even hands the camera temporarily over to her protagonists – for the time when she can’t be with them. This can and should be compared to the situation of Palestinian refugees in 1948, among them Dina Naser’s father, whose experiences are referenced by the director. This opens up a larger context for this story which is profoundly and universally human but at the same time linked closely to the complicated Syria and Middle East conflict by its wealth of detail.

Bert Rebhandl

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author’s name. Some original titles and names have been transcribed resp. transliterated. We apologise that we cannot cite individual image sources and rights in our festival publications or festival coverage. Please note that the visual material is published exclusively for the purposes of promoting specific films or festival programmes. No transmission to third parties is provided and would only take place with the explicit agreement of the owners of the rights. The rights to the images lie with the respective copyright owners.