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Republic of Silence

Republic of Silence
Diana El Jeiroudi
International Competition 2021
Documentary Film
Germany,
France,
Syria,
Qatar,
Italy
2021
183 minutes
Arabic,
English,
German,
Kurdish
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Diana El Jeiroudi
Orwa Nyrabia
Diana El Jeiroudi
Camille Laemlé
Sebastian Bäumler
Diana El Jeiroudi
Orwa Nyrabia
Guevara Namer
Diana El Jeiroudi
Katja Dringenberg
Diana El Jeiroudi
Raphaël Girardot
Nathalie Vidal
Pascal Capitolin

Silence reigns in the Berlin flat, but the film, whose complex montage encompasses the disintegration of Syria and life in exile, leaves no doubt that things are different in director Diana El Jeiroudi’s mind. Archival footage, loose portraits of confidants and an intimate perspective that explores her own position and her way of coping with trauma add up to a multi-layered document.

“Evil has a very loud and terrifying sound,” El Jeiroudi already noted as a child. Growing up in a country marked by surveillance and military parades has left its mark. In “Republic of Silence”, she looks for a way to come to terms with it, condensing old material, some of which shot in Syria, with a written monologue and stories of persons who also chose exile in the course of the civil war. The result is a complex filmic space that reveals the political and social disintegration of a nation. El Jeiroudi increasingly concentrates on showing a present outside Syria, life in emigration. Passing her husband's  nocturnal teeth grinding, birthday parties and disruptions in the international film festival scene, a life between tension and new beginnings becomes apparent.
Carolin Weidner
Nominated for Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize, Prize of the Interreligious Jury, FIPRESCI Prize
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Migration
Exile
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Their Algeria

Leur Algérie
Lina Soualem
International Competition 2020
Documentary Film
Algeria,
France,
Switzerland,
Qatar
2020
70 minutes
Arabic,
French
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Lina Soualem
Marie Balducchi
Karima Chouikh
Palmyre Badinier
Anna Berthollet
Gladys Joujou
Julie Tribout
Rémi Durel

After 62 years of marriage Aïcha Soualem is on her own again. Mabrouk, whom she has left, is nevertheless supplied by her daily with food and sugar cubes. Director Lina Soualem is interested in the relationship between her grandparents, who, as the last remaining Algerians in Thiers, France, look back on an eventful past. An empathic investigation all the way back to their native village of Laaouamer which leaves room for ambiguous emotions.

“Soualem” is the password which not only enables Lina Soualem to unlock the tiny, snow-covered village full of cousins in Algeria, which her grandparents left a long time ago. In a sense, “Soualem” is also the title of this gentle investigation of a granddaughter. And Laaouamer, that little place in Algeria, is only the final destination of a long journey which may be narrated via geographical coordinates but interweaves them closely with biographical and emotional ones. Aïcha and Mabrouk rarely talk about themselves. Instead, self-affixed wall badges speak: “The world’s best mom lives here” or “Welcome to the world’s best grandma’s”. To learn more about the couple, whose lives were shaped by French colonialism, Lina Soualem uses private photos and videos. Her investigation is full of love: persistent, but never prying.
Carolin Weidner
Nominated for Prize of the Interreligious Jury, FIPRESCI Prize
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Family Ties
Rural vs. Urban
Liebe/ ohne Liebe
Small Worlds, Big People
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