Film Reviews

It’s About to Rain- A film about wanting to belong

 

“There is an Identity element to the film of not knowing what home is, of struggling to know whether you belonged to a particular culture” says filmmaker, Haider Rashid. His film, It’s about to Rain (Sta Per Piovere) has been selected in Gulf Features category at the 6th Edition of the Gulf Film Festival.

It’s about to Rain’ narrates the story of an Algerian father and his Algerian-Italian sons, who struggle to gain citizenship in Italy.  They juggle between two different cultures and countries and discover their identities in an emotionally gripping story.

Rashid himself is an Iraqi-Italian and he relates to the movie on a personal level. “From the beginning of my career I have been working on the subject of identity. I’m starting to realize that as time passes it becomes less important to know which country I belong to and more important to find a center where I am comfortable.”

Rashid’s previous feature films like, Between Two Lands (2005) and Tangled up in the Blue (2009) told stories of individuals dealing with multi-cultural identities. “Coming from different origins is a condition you can’t fight with so you have to find a way to accept it and I think I’m doing this process through my films.”

Rashid feels that a multicultural identity helps people look at things from two varying points of view.  We start to look at issues not from a particular side but from above, where you understand all sides.

Biracialism is a common phenomenon as many people have migrated away from their homelands, yet try to hold onto their roots. Rashid is not the first filmmaker who has explored the subject of his origins through film.  Many other filmmakers feel the need discuss the subject of finding their unique individual identity while trying to find balance from contrasting cultures.

By Syeda Nawab Fathima

 

Watermark GFF_2013_FINAL

Gulf Documentary Feature “CO.UK” brutally honest

 

12

‘.CO.UK’ is a documentary by Iraqi director Kahil Khalid who tells an emotional and a tragic story in his first documentary that’s been selected for the Gulf Feature Competition this year.

It shows the life of three immigrants (two of them being of Indian origin and one of Iraqi origin) & the challenges they face as they exist in London stuck, lost or alienated by the society they live in.

The film moves in a steady pace where we are introduced to the three main characters – Bilal, Bhavic and Tejal. They are exploited, unnoticed and often fall beneath everyone’s radar, which is probably by their stories will leave an impression. It’s actually quite a surprise to see how dead London is portrayed – it’s cold, dull and manages to suffocate both the characters and the audience.

London represents a burden and each character just wants to go back ‘home’ as ‘they are immigrants here and outsiders home’, to quote Bilal Zary, one of the main characters in the film.

What I particularly liked was the brutal honesty the director tackled as he followed their journeys. He highlighted all their highs and their lows and he made a statement -you are just your address- ‘.co.uk’ and that will define you no matter how you try to escape that label and there is no going back once you become an immigrant.

By Sharanya Paulraj

Watermark GFF_2013_FINAL

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