My Father, Nour and I

Filmstill My Father, Nour and I

My Father, Nour and I

Mijn vader, Nour en ik
Wiam Al-Zabari
Audience Competition 2023
Documentary Film
56 minutes
German Subtitles for deaf and hard-of-hearing, English

Twenty years ago, filmmaker Wiam Al-Zabari fled Baghdad with his family in the middle of the night. His father, a dissident former ambassador, had already escaped from Iraq and was waiting for them in the Netherlands. Since then, no one in the family has ever spoken about the events. What exactly happened was always a taboo. Now that Wiam has become a father himself, he realises that his past life is catching up with him and that more and more questions are arising, the biggest being: Why did they have to flee in the first place? Wiam wants to finally find out. For the first time, he breaks the silence and begins to research the past in dialogues with his parents and siblings. Above all he wants to prevent passing on these traumatic experiences to his son.

In this filmic family therapy, he addresses Nour, his little son, directly. Wiam promised himself and the boy this film to clear up the long-suppressed themes in a way that will allow Nour to feel firm ground under his feet when he is grown up. In doing so, Wiam is unsparingly honest with himself and his relatives and chooses a number of unusual artistic tricks. For example, he inserts himself as a director from offscreen, critically analysing his own position in the fabric of speaking and silence: an attempted inside view from the outside.

Lina Dinkla

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Wiam Al-Zabari
Niels van Koevorden, Jefrim Rothuizen, Wiam Al-Zabari
Augustine Huijsser, Renko Douze, Wiam Al-Zabari
Hasse van Nunen, Iris Lammertsma, Renko Douze, Boudewijn Koole
Tim van Peppen, Gideon Bijlsma
Sound Design
Jacob Oostra
Alaa Arsheed, Haian Arsheed